Private Eye 10 January - 23 January 2003
FLU WHAT A STINKER
A row has broken out over reports that four of the seven flu jabs on offer
this winter contain thimerosal - a 50 percent mercury-based preservative
which is supposedly being phased out of all vaccines in the United States
and Europe because of its possible links with autism, Alzheimer's and brain
Though the debate about thimerosal in vaccines is muted in Britain, in the
US the preservative is at the centre of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.
Parents there maintain their children's autism and brain damage have been
triggered by a build-up of mercury.
Last year a congressional hearing into the tenfold rise in autism in the US
heard that a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
indicating a possible link between thimerosal and autism was never
published. This led to claims of a cover-up.
The US Institute of Medicine has said the link was not proven but
''biologically plausible''. There was insufficient evidence either way. In
the meantime the US decided to phase out all thimerosal and doctors there
have been advised to opt for mercury-free vaccines wherever possible. So
why, when presented with a choice of flu jabs, did Britain's health
department opt for some with thimerosal? A spokesman said: ''In response to
your question about why the department doesn''t just buy thimerosal-free flu
vaccines, flu vaccine is not purchased centrally. It is purchased directly
by GPs.'' This ignores government responsibility for vaccine and medicine
The spokesman added that the decision to phase out the preservative in the
US and Europe was ''precautionary''. ''There is no convincing evidence of
harm to anyone, including infants and pregnant women, caused by small
amounts of thimerosal in flu vaccines and the benefits of flu vaccine
outweigh any hypothetical risks.''
In the US the authorities are clearly more concerned - particularly about
the legal action. Four clauses have been slipped into the national homeland
security bill, introduced in the wake of 11 September, effectively exempting
drug manufacturer Eli Lilly from the mercury lawsuits brought by parents.
(Eli Lilly contributed nearly £1m to the Republicans in the latest political
The clauses pushing the autism cases into special vaccine courts were
apparently designed to protect companies in their efforts to develop
vaccines to protect against biological welfare. But the ensuing outrage at
provisions that have nothing to do with state security has forced promised
from both the senate and the House legislative wings that the clauses will
be changed to allow litigation to proceed.
Meanwhile in a separate move the justice department in Washington asked the
vaccine court to block public access to government and drug manufacturers'
documents in the 1000-plus autism cases it is already handling.
This article appeared in The
Varsity which is the newspaper for the University of Toronto.
The Varsity - News
On second thought...
By Kaisa Walker
The disturbing images of the Ontario government's "Let's Beat the Flu" ad
campaign confront TTC riders with a startling plea get the flu shot, or risk
infecting loved ones with a potentially deadly disease. The ads tell riders
the flu can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and even heart failure in the
elderly, children and the chronically ill.
What the ads don't say is that some experts worry that flu shots could have
startling long-term health effects. They say widespread vaccination could
prevent people from developing natural immunities and end up making us a
Meanwhile, others worry the issue isn't public heath it's public relations.
And expensive public relations at that.
Critics like the Ontario Health Coalition say the $44 million universal
vaccination plan the only of its kind in North America is a half-hearted
attempt by the government to look like it is working to remedy emergency
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care says the vaccine wards off the flu
for 70 to 90 per cent of healthy adults. In the elderly, the flu shot can
prevent pneumonia and hospitalization in six out of 10 people, and prevent
death in eight out of 10 cases.
But Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the US-based National Vaccine
Information Center, has doubts about the flu vaccine's reliability. She says
that since experts formulate the vaccine based on predictions of which
strains will be prevalent during a given season, there is no guarantee that
a person will not get the flu.
"Sometimes they guess right, sometimes they don't guess right," said Fisher.
Fisher believes vaccinating healthy young people against the flu instead of
allowing them to recover naturally from the virus could lead to long-term
health problems. The flu shot's protective effects last only six months,
requiring re-vaccination at the start of every flu season. But if someone
catches a strain of the flu and recovers from it they will develop an
immunity which will stop them from getting it again.
"When more people have been exposed to the flu shot as opposed to the
disease, you have fewer and fewer people who have any kind of permanent
immunity to any strains of flu," said Fisher.
"We become basically vaccine-dependent."
The Ontario Health Coalition says the shot is being marketed too broadly,
and argues that a campaign targeted at high-risk individuals would cost less
and be just as effective. But spokesperson Natalie Mehra says the Harris
government may be more concerned with public relations than with public
"It's so massive it bespeaks something other than just flu shots," she said.
"If the real issue were prevention, [the campaign] would be targeted at
those groups that most need the prevention, and it's not."
The government's all-out campaign plays well in the media and makes the
government look like it is tackling serious health issues, Mehra said.
"It is a bit of a manipulative public relations exercise," she added.
And opposition has spread to parliament.
Liberal MPP and Health critic Lynn McLeod said the flu shot campaign has
changed since last year, when the government placed a much greater emphasis
on the goal of reducing flu-related visits to hospital emergency rooms.
This year, the Ministry of Health says their goal is not only to reduce
emergency room overcrowding, but to protect the vulnerable and reduce the
economic lag caused by an increase in sick days during flu season.
But while the flu shot, like so many issues, becomes just one more battle in
the long-raging dispute over medicare funding, experts worry that some
larger issues are simply being missed.
In addition to concerns about creating a society unable to resist the flu
without the aid of pharmaceuticals, Fisher and the National Vaccine
Information Center also worry about side effects from the ingredients in the
vaccine. Flu shots contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative used as a
While the Ontario government claims the flu shot is safe for pregnant and
breastfeeding women, Fisher said mercury has been linked to brain injury and
immune deficiencies in the developing fetus.
"I do not think that there has been nearly enough study to prove that giving
pregnant women the flu vaccine is a safe thing to do," said Fisher.
Flu shot leads to
Friday June 7, 2002
Debra Vallee of Cambridge says after getting a flu shot she
developed pneumonia, her hair fell out, and her hands and feet
WATERLOO REGION --
When Debra Vallee rolled up her sleeve for a flu shot last October,
she didn't think twice about getting the routine immunization. But
just days after receiving the injection to combat the influenza virus,
the 39-year-old Cambridge woman suddenly became ill. "Everything just
went downhill," Vallee said. Pneumonia gripped both her lungs, her
hair began falling out, aches seized her body, and her hands and feet
became numb and tingly. Her weakened health meant Vallee couldn't do
her job in the laundry room of a Cambridge retirement home, and she
moved between her sister's and daughter's homes because she often
needed help with simple daily chores like dressing and eating. "It
just turned my life all around," she said. "Over the last six months
I've lost everything." "She just gradually, progressively got worse,"
her physician Dr. Brian Bloomfield said.
The Kitchener doctor was baffled by
Vallee's unusual symptoms. "It was strange watching Debbie go through
this and initially not find anything wrong," Bloomfield said in an
interview. Vallee underwent a battery of tests, including ultrasounds,
X-rays and an electromyograph to measure the functioning of her
nervous system, and visited a London neurologist in March. Months
after she became sick, Vallee finally had a diagnosis for her
mysterious ailments, and some peace of mind. "I didn't know until a
month ago what's wrong with me. I didn't know if I was dying or what,"
she said. The diagnosis was immune mediated sensory neuropathy.
Basically, her immune system began attacking her nervous system.
Although there are no direct tests to prove the connection, her
doctors pinpointed the cause to be the flu shot. "The only stimulus
she had to her immune system in the recent past is the flu shot,"
Bloomfield said. "For some reason her immune system just got carried
away." But Bloomfield stressed that Vallee's terrible reaction to the
influenza vaccine is "phenomenally rare," and it shouldn't stop anyone
in the region from getting an annual shot. "The potential benefit of
the flu shot certainly outweighs the minute risk," he said. According
to Health Canada, between 500 and 1,500 Canadians die of influenza or
its complications each year. Karen Quigley-Hobbs, the region's manager
of immunization and vaccine-preventable disease, agreed such a severe
reaction to the flu shot as Vallee's is rare. She would not comment
specifically about Vallee's case. "Reactions generally to this
vaccine are infrequent and mild," Quigley-Hobbs said.
"What we most commonly see is a local
reaction," she said. That may include soreness, redness and swelling
at the injection site that disappears within a few days. Because the
flu shot isn't a live vaccine, it can't cause influenza. Rarely, she
said, a person can suffer an allergic reaction to the vaccine, which
would cause hives, itchiness and swelling particularly in the mouth.
But that is a risk with any medication, Quigley-Hobbs said. Vallee is
beginning to feel better and has returned to work and her own
apartment. But she worries that her ordeal may not be over. "They
don't know if I'm going to have a relapse," she said. Bloomfield
suspects that because the flu shot only lasts up to eight months,
Vallee will continue to improve without treatment.
ERS: Flu Vaccine
Possibly no Better than Placebo in Preventing Exacerbations
in Asthmatic Children
By Cameron Johnston
Special to DG News
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN -- September 16, 2002 -- Asthmatic children and
other groups are usually encouraged to receive the flu vaccine each
year as winter approaches. However, according to one study, the flu
vaccine may be no better than placebo for preventing
influenza-induced asthma exacerbations among children.
The study by practitioners at Erasmus University Medical Center, in
Rotterdam, the Netherlands was presented in a poster session here on
September 15th at the 12th Annual Meeting of the European
Respiratory Society (ERS).
They began with a large cohort of 3220 asthmatic children aged six
to18 years, whose names were drawn from family practices in the
western Netherlands. They enrolled a total of 696 of the children.
The study was randomised, double blind, and placebo-controlled. One
group of 347 subjects received a parenterally administered,
inactivated influenza vaccine (flu shot), while 349 received a
placebo throughout the winters of 1999-2000, and 2000-2001. Primary
outcomes were number, duration
and severity of asthma exacerbations associated with virologically
proven influenza infection.
The children or their parents were asked to use a physician-derived
checklist to keep track of exacerbations and to report any symptom
score of four points or more. Those who had symptom scores of four
or more points would be invited to the clinic to take part in
further tests, mainly involving a throat swab.
Forty-four subjects in total underwent throat swabs. Those swabs
that were positive for influenza were implicated in 42 asthma
exacerbations. The exacerbations occurred in 24 of the patients who
had received the vaccine and 17 who had received the placebo.
Although more exacerbations were seen in
subjects receiving the study drug, the difference was not
statistically significant (p=0.44). After adjusting for confounding
factors such as length of the season, presence or absence of pets in
the house, and presence of antibody titres for influenza, the
researchers determined that the average exacerbation lasted 3.9 days
longer in the placebo group, although there were no differences in
the severity of the exacerbations recorded between the two groups.
According to Dr. Herman Bueving, of the Erasmus Department of Family
Medicine, these findings suggest that while the flu shot does not
reduce the number or severity of exacerbations in asthmatic
patients, it can lead to exacerbations of a shorter duration.
Nonetheless, this data also suggests that extra care should be taken
each year when winter approaches because not all asthmatics will
have a favourable reaction to the flu shot, and some might even be
better off avoiding this form of prophylaxis altogether.
I came down with GBS on November 17, 2001 and was immediately
hospitalized. I spent 55 days in the ICU and was on a ventilator and
received a tracheotomy. At the worst of it, I was in critical condition and
was completely paralysed (head to toe) until March. I was released from
hospital (rehab) on July 18, 2002 and am now on the road to making a
I was told that the onset of my GBS was probably as a result of a flu
vaccine I received in early November, 2001. In fact, the hospital notified
the federal health authorities (Health Canada), reporting my case as a
possible case of vaccine induced GBS. My question is this. Is any one aware
of any successful law suits against pharmaceutical companies in such
situations or any applicable case law ?
I would appreciate any thoughts any one might have on this topic. Many
|Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, chronic
disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) in
which inflammation and breakdown in the protective insulation (myelin
sheath) surrounding the nerve fibers of the central nervous system
MS symptoms are highly individual and vary in both severity and
duration. MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor
coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, and
even paralysis and blindness. These problems might be permanent, or they
might occur sporadically.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, but the
unpredictable physical and emotional effects can last the rest of their
lives. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one
person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research treatment are
giving hope to people affected by the disease.
Twice as many women as men have MS. Studies indicate that genetic
factors may make certain individuals more susceptible to the disease,
but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. It occurs more
commonly among Caucasians, especially those of northern European
ancestry, but people of African, Asian, and Hispanic backgrounds are not
There are approximately one third of a million Americans with MS, and
every week about 200 people are diagnosed with the disease-more than one
person every hour. Theresa Layne of Gruetli-Laager was diagnosed with
Multiple Sclerosis in January 2001. Her symptoms could be traced as far
back as seven years before.
Her initial symptoms occurred soon after having a flu shot. She went to
her family physician complaining of numbness and burning, and cold
patches up and down her legs. The family physician passed it off as a
strange reaction to her flu shot. The next year, again following a flu
vaccine, Ms. Layne began having numbness in her arms. The physicians had
a MRI done of her neck which was negative, and again it was passed off
as a reaction to the shot.
Soon afterwards, while working in the Emergency Room at Vanderbilt, Ms.
Layne began having memory loss and confusion. She though that maybe the
symptoms were from the depression following the death of her father or
because she was burned out from working in a trauma center. At this
time, she decided to leave Vanderbilt and go to work at St. Thomas
hospital. She worked there for three years. Most of her time was spent
working in the nursery, until it closed. Theresa then moved to the
operating room and had been there for nine months before having to leave
work due to illness.
Theresa had gotten to the point where she was forgetting how to use the
operating machines in the O.R., even if she had used them that same day.
Her fine motor skills had gotten to the point where she could no longer
open some of the sterile packs. One of Theresa's friends had memorized
her locker combination for the days when she couldn't remember it
Her loss of work has caused her to lose her home, new truck and her
Harley Davidson.She has moved closer to her family for emotional and
physical support. Over the last year she has had to resort to using a
wheelchair, a four-legged cane and a special walker just to get around.
Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to
person and from time to time in the same person. For instance, one
person may experience abnormal fatigue, while another person may have
severe vision problems. While one person with MS may have loss of
balance and muscle coordination-making walking and everyday tasks
difficult to perform-another person with MS may have slurred speech,
tremors, stiffness, and bladder and bowel problems. Even severe symptoms
may disappear completely and the person will regain lost functions. In
the worst cases, people have partial or complete paralysis on a
In MS, symptoms result when inflammation and breakdown occur in myelin,
the protective insulation surrounding the nerve fibers of the central
nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Myelin is destroyed and replaced
by scars of hardened "sclerotic" patches of tissue. Such lesions are
called "plaques," and appear in "multiple" places within the central
nervous system. This can be compared to a loss of insulating material
around an electrical wire, which interferes with the transmission of
signals. Some nerve fibers are actually severed in association with the
loss of myelin.
MS is not a fatal disease. The projected life span for most people with
MS is 93% of the non-MS population. People who have MS can be expected
to have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. The majority of people
with MS do not become severely disabled. Two-thirds of people who have
MS remain able to walk, though many will need an aid, such as a cane or
crutches, and some will use a scooter or wheelchair to help fight
Genetic factors may make certain individuals more susceptible to the
disease.There is not yet a cure for MS, however, advances in treating
and understanding MS are achieved daily and progress in research to find
a cure is very encouraging. In addition, many therapeutic and
technological advances are helping people manage symptoms and lead more
productive lives. There are now several FDA-approved medications known
to modify or slow down the underlying course of MS.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that you begin
treatment with one of three drugs: Avonex, Betaseron, or Copaxone, as
soon as you are diagnosed with a relapsing form, the most common kind of
MS. (Note, the FDA recently approved interferon beta 1a-Rebif-for
relapsing forms of MS.) These drugs help to lessen the frequency and
severity of MS attacks, reduce the accumulation of lesions in the brain,
and slow progression of disability. In addition, Novantrone has been
approved by the FDA for the treatment of worsening
(secondary-progressive) MS. Novantrone is the first therapy approved in
the U.S. for secondary-progressive MS. The lifetime dose is limited due
to cardiac toxicity. There also are many therapies available to treat
symptoms such as spasticity, pain, bladder problems, fatigue, and
weakness. People should consult with a knowledgeable physician to
develop the most comprehensive approach to managing their MS.
In early MS, elusive symptoms that come and go might indicate any
number of possible disorders. Some people have symptoms very difficult
for physicians to interpret, and these people must "wait and see." While
no single laboratory test is yet available to prove or rule out MS,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a great help in reaching a
|©Grundy County Herald 2002
from the Toronto Star:
Oct. 3, 01:00 EDT
Paramedic union claims victory in flu shot fight Says province to back down
on mandatory immunization
Health Policy Reporter
The provincial government is expected to back down today on a long-standing
feud with Ontario's paramedics by announcing they will no longer be required
by law to get a flu shot, according to the paramedics' union. The move comes
after a two-year standoff over the vaccination requirement, which many
paramedics insist is an infringement of their Charter rights.
Brian Cochrane, president of Local 416 of the Canadian Union of Public
Employees, which represents Toronto's paramedics, said behind-the-scenes
negotiations have been going on for months.
"We have learned the government is moving in the direction of repealing the
regulation," he said last night. "We're very hopeful." Although paramedics
have been required for years to be immunized against diseases like tetanus,
diphtheria and rubella under the Ambulance Act, they balked at getting an
influenza shot each winter. It was made mandatory in 2000, but policing was
left to municipalities.
Some paramedics said they did not want to risk potential long-term side
effects from being immunized.
Last year, only 8 per cent of Toronto's 790 paramedics got the flu shot.
Similarly, paramedics were threatened with suspension in Peterborough,
Timiskaming, Ottawa and Niagara Falls.
One paramedic, Bill Kotsopoulos, refused the immunization and ended up
becoming a cleaner at a North Bay hospital while on indefinite suspension. A
spokesperson for Health Minister Tony Clement refused to confirm the policy
change, saying questions will be answered at a news conference this morning.
Clement, along with Colin D'Cunha, Ontario's chief medical officer of
health, are scheduled to visit a Toronto Emergency Medical Services
ambulance station on Davenport Rd. Paramedics were angry they were singled
out for forced immunization while other health-care professionals such as
doctors and nurses were only encouraged to get the shots.
The union representing Toronto's paramedics filed a court challenge, arguing
that their rights were violated under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If
the government drops the mandatory requirement, union officials say they'll
drop the challenge. Preliminary hearing dates were set for later this month.
Their case was bolstered in April by an arbitration board ruling that said
requiring medical treatment for employees "is an assault if there is no
consent." That case involved 15 staffers at a geriatric hospital in Hamilton
who were suspended during a flu outbreak in January, 2000, for declining
shots and refusing to take anti-viral medication.
All along, Clement has insisted that paramedics should obey the law, citing
reasons that included protecting patients and reducing sick time among
paramedics. In 2000, the provincial government began a universal vaccination
campaign to encourage all Ontarians to get immunized, after emergency
rooms were overcrowded during flu season. Influenza kills as many as 1,500
Canadians each year.
Clin Nephrol 2002 Sep;58(3):220-3
t=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=12356192> Related Articles,
Influenza vaccination induced leukocytoclastic vasculitis and
pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis.
Yanai-Berar N, Ben-Itzhak O, Gree J, Nakhoul F.
Department of Nephrology, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
Influenza vaccination is a widely accepted practice, particularly among the
elderly and high-risk individuals. Minor and transitory side effects
following the vaccination are common, while systemic complications are
infrequently reported. We describe here a case of a patient who presented to
the emergency room with arthralgia, myalgias and purpura, following
influenza vaccination. Necrotizing vasculitis associated with pauci-immune
glomerulonephritis was observed on kidney biopsy. With increasing use of
influenza vaccination, attention should be drawn to the possible expression
of systemic adverse effects such as vasculitis and glomerulonephritis.
PMID: 12356192 [PubMed - in process]
Flu shot guidance renews old fears
An encouragement to inoculate young children worries those who think
the vaccine contributes to autism.
By GRAHAM BRINK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 7, 2002
TAMPA -- Last month, for the first time, the national Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention encouraged parents to have their young
children vaccinated against the flu. To most, it seemed a sound idea for protecting youngsters. But a vocal
minority of parents and doctors think such a move could be trouble. The issue: Some flu vaccines still contain the mercury-based
preservative thimerosal, which they think is linked to an explosion in the
number of children diagnosed with autism and related disorders in the past
The many skeptics of this theory point out that the mercury used in
thimerosal has not been definitively linked to autism.
But those who think there is a connection see the CDC encouragement as
a risk for children, especially those who already might have a buildup of
mercury in their systems. "They continue to promote thimerosal as safe mercury and that there is
no evidence of toxicity," said Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, an autism researcher
in Palm Bay and the father of an autistic boy. "Eventually, they will be
proven wrong. But in the meantime, one wonders how many lives may be
Until last month, the CDC never had encouraged regular flu shots for
healthy children six months to 23 months old.
But about 20 children per 10,000 in that age group are hospitalized
each year with the flu or its complications. That rate is at least five
times higher than that of 5 to 15 year olds and 10 times higher than the
rate for low-risk adults, according to the CDC. Young children also are effective carriers of the influenza virus,
often passing it on to relatives and friends. The CDC said vaccinating
children would help improve the societal armor and cut down on the number
of adults who get the flu.
The CDC is only encouraging parents to vaccinate their young children,
not recommending it. But a formal recommendation could come as early as
next year. Dr. Scott Harper, an infectious disease specialist with the CDC in
Atlanta, said the risks of complications from flu shots for young children
are minimal, especially when compared with the benefits. "In every decision that we make in life, there is a risk and a
benefit," Harper said. "This decision was based on facts, facts that show
that many children will avoid getting sick, not unproven theories."
Other health care giants -- including the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of
Pediatrics and the National Network for Immunization Information -- also
are skeptical of a link between vaccines and autism. They say the theory
is based more on coincidence and hope than hard data.
Even the Autism Society of America isn't convinced.
"(We) strongly support research to determine if, in fact, there is a
correlation," the society says. "Until that research is performed and
replicated, vaccines continue to be indicated."
Thimerosal has been used as a preservative in vaccines since the 1930s,
but it became more common in the past 15 years as pharmaceutical companies
began to produce more multidose vials to cut costs. Without the
preservative, a multidose vial can become tainted once its seal is broken. The increase in the use of thimerosal coincided with an increase in the
number of vaccines administered to children. Children today can receive
about 36 doses of 11 vaccines by age 5.
And those two trends corresponded with a surge in autism rates
throughout the country, say supporters of the mercury/autism theory. They
fear that some children can't flush all the mercury from their systems, so
it builds up and triggers autism, a neurological disorder that affects
communication and socialization. Many doctors and scientists say such fears are unwarranted. But if the
theory is so full of holes, the supporters ask, why did the government
direct vaccine manufacturers in 1999 to remove thimerosal and other
mercury from common childhood vaccinations, including hepatitis?
They say the CDC encouragement means children might again be given
vaccines containing mercury. Flu shots have not traditionally been
childhood vaccines, so many multidose vials still contain thimerosal. It
is unclear exactly how much of the flu vaccine supply contains the
preservative. "Promoting flu shots for healthy children concerns me a great deal,"
said Miami lawyer Roberto Villasante, co-chairman of the vaccine
litigation group for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. "I think
the big question should be: Is this vaccine absolutely necessary?"
Kim Dabney was shocked when she heard the news from the CDC last month. Her son Drew had suffered from earaches and flulike symptoms. They
weren't serious, but they were enough for her pediatrician to recommend
that Drew receive a flu vaccination last year. He was 15 months old. "After that shot, that was the end of Drew as we knew him," Dabney
said. Drew stopped making eye contact, stopped having fun, stopped making
He had had some trouble after a round of shots administered a few
months earlier, Dabney said, but the flu shot "put him over the edge."
Drew's pediatrician, like some other doctors, had never heard of
thimerosal or theories about a link between vaccinations and autism,
Dabney said. But when Dabney researched Drew's vaccination record, she
found it loaded with shots containing mercury.
The Dabneys, who moved from Miami to Charlotte, N.C., last year, have
spent close to $50,000 on therapy and other treatments for Drew, who is
showing marked improvement. "No one wants the flu, but no one wants mercury poisoning either," she
said. "Now that these links are showing up, I cannot believe they aren't
screaming to get this stuff off the shelves." Most members of the medical community think such a move is unnecessary.
They note that many children with risk factors such as cystic fibrosis
have received flu shots for years. If there were a link, many more of
those children would have autism, they say. Some children don't show signs of autism until they are a few years
old. The vaccinations don't cause it, the doctors argue, they just happen
to be given around the same time.
Barbara Fisher is co-founder and president of the National Vaccine
Information Center, a nonprofit group that advocates reforming the mass
vaccination system. She encourages parents of children in the 6- to
23-month age group to arm themselves with as much information as possible
before they decide whether to vaccinate their children against the flu. Even if science never finds a definite link between thimerosal and
autism, it's worth considering, Fisher said.
She recommends that parents who want their children vaccinated against
the flu read the manufacturer's insert that comes with the vaccine to
determine whether it contains thimerosal or any other mercury. "Parents should not rely solely on their doctors, who don't always have
all the information themselves," she said. "Whatever decision is made, it
should be made from a position of knowledge, not a position of ignorance."
-- Graham Brink can be reached at (813) 226-3365 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Jay Patrick
President of Alacer Corp
Three Great Medical Hoaxes
In 1974, I wrote in Let's Live Magazine of the Great American Deception: The
Swine Flu Vaccine: Hog Wash. Over 43,000,000 trusting Americans were
innoculated with this makeshift vaccine rounded up for a non-existent
epidemic. Over 128 died immediately from its effects. Untold numbers may
have had their lives shortened. That's because the vaccine will probably
remain in their bodies for their entire lives. Science magazine commented:
There can be few graver opportunities for man-made disaster than the mass
immunization campaigns that are now routine in many countries. Should the
vaccine preparations become contaminated with an undetected agent present in
the host cells, a whole generation of vaccines could be put in jeopardy.
This, of course, is no science fiction writer's horror story--It has already
happened once; millions of people have been injected with a monkey virus
known as SV40, which was found in 1961 to be contaminating polio and
adenovirus vaccines. The virus causes cancer in hamsters; no one yet knows
what it may do in man.
Leading Expert Questions Flu Vaccine Benefits
A leading epidemiologist writes in the January 9, 2001 issue of the Canadian
Medical Association Journal that claims there is no proof that Ontario,
Canada's $38 million universal flu vaccine program has limited the spread of
Last year, the Ontario government initiated an attempt to vaccinate every
one of its citizens against the flu, based on one of its own studies that
said each vaccination would save the Ontario health system $40. Dr. Vittorio
Demicheli, chairman of the regional epidemiological unit in Alessandria,
Italy says "there is absolutely no evidence that universal vaccination has
ever achieved such a goal.."
"I wonder whether the program should, instead, serve as a warning to other
governments. The 'Let's see what happens' approach to public health should
not be emulated. Recent reports seem to bolster Dr. Demicheli's assertions.
On December 6, 2000 at the Fourth National Immunization Conference in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Eleni Galanis of Health Canada reported that
almost 1000 Canadians have suffered adverse reactions to the flu vaccine
since October, 2000. That's nearly 80 times as many as for the same period
For more information on the dangers of vaccination, the National Vaccine
Information Center maintains an extremely informative website at
http://www.909shot.com or they can be reached at 512 W. Maple Avenue, #206,
Vienna, VA 22180. Their phone number is 1-800-909-SHOT (7468).
Vaccines to ruffle flu's feathers
Investigators: Jaqueline Katz and Kanta Subbarao
22 October 2002
by Julie Clayton
Researchers are closing in on the genes responsible for enabling flu viruses
to leap straight from birds to humans. Identifying those genes could aid
vaccine development and protect against killer infections such as the 1997
Hong Kong flu outbreak. The 1997 outbreak shocked virologists because it
showed, for the first time, that flu could jump directly from birds to
humans, rather than have to go through an intermediate host, such as pigs.
Avian influenza viruses of the H5N1 type, which were circulating in the live
bird markets and poultry farms around Hong Kong, infected 18 people, killing
six, between May and December 1997. Fortunately for the contacts of the
victims, the viruses could not spread from person to person: each case
involved direct transmission from birds to humans.
But it may only be a matter of time before an avian virus evolves the
capacity to spread from person to person, particularly if the infected
people also harbor human influenza viruses with which the avian strains
could reassort. The 1997 cases had no protective immunity against the
These events have given rise to two new lines of research. The first is to
understand the genes responsible, and the second, to produce vaccines that
could serve as prototypes for the protection of people against future
Jaqueline Katz, section chief at the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, today revealed the identity of at least one of
the genes - coding for an internal virus protein, PB2- that might have been
responsible for the severity of the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak.
Katz compared the action of two different strains of the 1997 virus. The
first strain, HK483, was found in a 13-year old girl who had died, and in
whom an autopsy revealed that the virus had spread to many organs, including
her brain. The second strain, HK486, came from a five-year old girl who had
suffered a milder form of disease and recovered.
By reverse genetics, Katz's team used plasmids to isolate and capture
individual viral genes, and swap these between the two strains. Inserting
the PB2 gene from the "high-pathogenicity" strain HK483, into the background
of the "low-pathogenicity" strain HK486, produced a recombinant virus with
the same features as the wild-type parent HK483 strain, at least in mice. In
particular, the recombinant virus spread easily to multiple organs. By
contrast, placing the PB2 gene from strain HK486 into strain HK483, yielded
a hybrid virus that did not spread beyond the place where it was inoculated
- whether the lungs or elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Katz's colleague Kanta Subbarao, chief of the Molecular Genetics
section at CDC, is producing the first vaccines against avian flu strains
that continue to circulate among birds in Hong Kong and China, including the
Using human viruses as backbones, Subbarao's team has created hybrids by
substituting in avian counterparts of the genes for hemagglutinin and
neuraminidase. As surface glycoproteins, these form the targets for
Following inoculation into mice, the hybrid viruses not only triggered good
antibody responses, but also protected the mice against challenge with the
wild-type avian viruses, suggesting that avian-derived strains have good
potential as future vaccines.
Subbarao told delegates that she was keen to begin collaborating with
industrial partners to exploit the potential of the vaccine "seeds". Her
vaccine-development strategy is moving away from previous approaches, she
says, because the rapidly changing antigenicity of flu viruses makes it
pointless to prepare a vaccine until an outbreak occurs.
"What we have learnt since 1997 is that it's taken a very long time to even
have vaccine candidates," said Subbarao. "We also know that it's going to
probably take two doses per person to immunize."
From now on, she said, the approach will be to say: "Let's get some
experience, let's make some vaccine so that maybe the first dose can be with
something of the right subtype, maybe it's not the exact strain, and by the
time of the second dose we might have the right strain."
A MEASURE OF COMFORT
The Health Sciences Institute e-Alert
October 30, 2002
It happens every autumn - the days grow cooler and shorter, Halloween
decorations appear in shop windows, and someone always asks this question:
"What is your advice on getting a flu shot?"
This year, that question came from an HSI member named Karen. And my
answer to Karen, and to everyone who asks that question, is that I'm not
in a position to give advice about flu shots. Only a doctor or other
qualified health care provider should offer such advice. So while I'm not
going to recommend or discourage you from a yearly flu shot, I do have
information you can use to weigh the pros and cons of the vaccine, along
with some useful insights about how to help your immune system prepare for
the seasonal attack of virus and bacteria.
No extra charge for the antifreeze
There is no doubt that many thousands of the people who receive flu shots
this season will make it from Labor Day to Memorial Day without coming
down with a case of influenza. So taken at face value: if it works, it
works - enough said. But you should stop reading now if you'd like to
remain unaware of the complete contents of a flu shot. I'll tell
you this: it's not pretty.
Each year the flu vaccine is newly redesigned, using several strains from
different types of flu that were common the season before. So basically
you're getting a vaccine that is, in theory, ideal for protecting you from
last year's primary flu types. Meanwhile, vaccine developers cross their
fingers and hope that whatever new flu mutation
comes our way this season is not much different than last year's flu.
But that shot at your doctor's office contains much more than just flu
strains. The vaccine is prepared with chicken embryo fluid, inoculated
with the living flu strains. The fluid is then treated with formaldehyde
to inactivate the virus. Thimerosal, a mercury derivative, is injected to
help preserve the mixture. Ethylene glycol (better known as
antifreeze) and another chemical called phenol are added to disinfect. And
because animal cells are used for this process, animal viruses are
sometimes introduced into the vaccine, undetected. This has happened as
recently as 1995.
Now ask yourself: If you were intending to purchase a dietary supplement,
and the label offered this warning: "May contain traces of formaldehyde,
thimerosal, phenol, ethylene glycol, and animal cells," would you buy it?
A "shot" of antioxidant
If you pick up a flu virus, you won't necessarily come down with the flu.
Whether or not you become ill will depend on how well your immune system
deals with the virus. So you might say that a virus doesn't give you the
flu - an immune system that doesn't defeat the virus is what gives you the
flu. The key is immunity.
In 1999 HSI sent out a Members Alert titled "Super-immunity Against
Mutating Flu Bugs." In that Alert we told you about N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- an amino acid that naturally stimulates your body to produce
glutathione, a powerful antioxidant enzyme. Previous studies have shown
that patients with ailments associated with a breakdown in the immune
system are often deficient in their levels of glutathione.
NAC has been used for many years to treat chronic respiratory ailments
with its ability to break up and dissolve the mucus that contributes to
pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and sinusitis. And just a few years ago, an
Italian study found that supplementation with N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
significantly increased immunity to flu infection. Over a six-month trial,
only 29% of those taking NAC developed symptoms of the flu, vs. 51% of
those taking a placebo. Of the 262 people taking part in this study,
three-quarters were over the age of 65.
As I told you in an e-Alert earlier this month ("Storm of the Eye"
10/9/02), 300 mg of NAC per day is probably both effective and safe for
most people. But it's always a good idea to consult a trusted health care
provider before beginning any new supplement regimen.
Wolf on the run
In addition to NAC supplements, there are a number of other supplements
that may help keep the flu away from the door. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and
beta carotene have all been shown to help fight colds and flu. And for
several years HSI members have known about the advantages of selenium - a
naturally occurring mineral with antioxidant properties. In an e-Alert I
sent you last year ("Popular Supplement Now Shown to Stop Deadly
Epidemics" 6/22/01) I told you about a study that concluded that selenium
may stop viruses from mutating and becoming more potent.
And finally, we have echinacea - the herb that's become so well known in
recent years for its apparent ability to help reduce the length and
severity of colds and flu. How this is done is not yet known, although
some studies have indicated that echinacea may stimulate the production of
white blood cells that are necessary to effectively manage viruses. Just
last week I found a new study on echinacea from the Southwest College of
Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. Purported to be one of the first
human studies of this herb, the researchers concluded that
the effectiveness of echinacea may lie in its ability to strengthen a
specific part of the immune system that is known to attack viruses.
So if the idea of getting a flu shot is reassuring to you, don't let me
stop you. But there's a very good chance that all the flu protection you
need can be achieved by getting the right amount of sleep, eating a
balanced diet, maintaining a light to moderate exercise regimen, and
supplementing with a few proven helpers in the yearly fight between us
and the flu bug.
Cranberry Juice Blocks H. influenzae Activity in Vitro
By Bruce Dixon
CHICAGO (Reuters Health) Oct 28 - A laboratory study presented here
Saturday at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of
America suggests that a component of cranberry juice has an inhibitory
effect on Haemophilus influenzae.
"We found that both cranberry juice and active chemicals in cranberry
juice called proanthocyanidins bind to and block... Haemophilus influenzae
in the test tube," said lead author, Dr. Kirk McCrea of the University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Dr. McRae and colleagues tested a 30% cranberry juice cocktail and found
that it inhibited the hemagglutination of piliated H. influenzae by 78%.
Cranberry juice also inhibited binding of H. influenzae pili to buccal
cells to approximately the same extent.
"Because this was a laboratory study, human research is needed to confirm
that drinking cranberry juice reduces the risk of respiratory infections
in children. We know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthful. This
is really on the fringe of looking at one of those health benefits and
giving us more of an edge over infections. We've got
a long way to go, but this study is a start," Dr. McRae commented.
Dr. McRae cautions parents not to jump to the conclusion that giving their
children cranberry juice will prevent or treat illness. The American
Academy of Pediatrics has made official their concerns over the excessive
consumption of fruit juices by young children. The AAP recently stated
that drinking too much fruit juice can contribute to
obesity, the development of cavities, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal
problems, such as excessive gas, bloating and abdominal pain. ***
DRUG FIRMS TO ADD WARNING
Flu vaccination linked to muscle-wasting disease
Five people in Japan suffered Guillain-Barre syndrome -- a disorder
ofprogressive muscle weakness -- after receiving influenza vaccinations
betweenJanuary 2000 and April 2002, health ministry officials said
Sunday. Theofficials said the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry ordered
the pharmaceuticalcompanies that make the vaccines to state clearly that
the disease is a possibleadverse effect of the products.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is namedafter the French physicians, Georges
Guillain and Jean Barre, who first describedit. The disease can cause
immune system abnormalities, often inducing seriousrespiratory paralysis
resulting from muscle weakness.
The annual incidence of the disease worldwide is about one or two per
According to the ministry, three cases of the disease were reported
inJapan in 1999, two in 2000 and two in 2001. Three were reported between
December2001 and April this year. Three of the recent victims have been
childrenunder the age of 10.
Before 1999, Japan had no reports of the disease developing following flu
vaccinations, the ministry said.
There is no established theory for the cause of the disease, but many
doctorsassume it is brought on when the auto-antibody produced by a virus
or bacteriainfection damages the peripheral nerve system.
A report in the United States indicates the incidence of the disease goes
up slightly after flu vaccinations.
The Japan Times: Nov. 18, 2002
(C) All rights reserved
From globeandmail.com, Monday, November 18, 2002
Flu shot left executive paralyzed
PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER
As an executive with a big Bay Street company, Brian Claman does not "have
the time to waste being sick."
So, when flu shots were offered at the office a year ago, he was quick to
head to the boardroom and get vaccinated.
"I've had the flu a couple of times and it's nasty, so I figured it was a
win-win situation," Mr. Claman said.
Two weeks after his flu shot, Mr. Claman awoke with a pounding headache
and a strange feeling in his feet. The doctor was reassuring, telling the
47-year-old businessman that the symptoms were probably related to stress.
His condition deteriorated, so he made his way to a hospital emergency
room. His body was gradually going numb.
Doctors immediately recognized the tell-tale signs of Guillain Barre
syndrome, a baffling, potentially fatal condition that resembles polio. By
afternoon, Mr. Claman was completely paralyzed. He was placed in intensive
care and put on a respirator.
He spent the next eight months in hospital and now, a year after his flu
shot, is just beginning to walk unassisted again. "It's been a harrowing
experience," Mr. Claman said in an interview. "Never in my wildest dreams
-- or maybe I should say nightmares -- could I have imagined almost losing
my life to the flu shot," According to Health
Canada, there have been 37 cases of GBS since 1987 where a link to the flu
vaccine is suspected. But it cautions that because reporting is not
mandatory, the number of cases is probably underreported, and that because
GBS occurs for a number of other reasons, it is often difficult to make a
The mundane medical term for what happened to Mr. Claman is "adverse
reaction."That usually means a little fever and maybe some swelling at the
injection site, but a small minority suffer severe reactions such as
Guillain Barre syndrome, an inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nerves
(those outside the brain and spinal cord).
While the exact cause is unknown, GBS appears to be an autoimmune disease
in which the body's disease-fighting system mistakenly attacks the
covering of the nerves. At least half the cases seem to be triggered by a
microbial infection. Mr. Claman suffered a severe reaction; usually GBS
will reverse itself within a few months.
The link to vaccines was first made in 1976, when hundreds of people in
the United States developed Guillain Barre after getting the swine-flu
vaccine. Mr. Claman's experience, getting sick suddenly two weeks after
the shot, is typical.
Public-health officials are quick to point out that while GBS is a
devastating condition, it is rare, and getting the flu is a far more
dangerous prospect. In a paper published in the Canada Communicable
Disease Report, Philippe De
Wals, an epidemiologist in the department of community health services at
the University of Sherbrooke, calculated that for a person over the age of
65 (those at greatest risk from the flu) the risk of dying of GBS after a
flu shot is
about one in 10 million, while the risk of contracting influenza and dying
if a person is not vaccinated is about one in 1,000. In other words, the
fear of GBS should not dissuade people (seniors, at least) because the
risk of dying from
not getting the shot is 10,000 times greater.
Mr. Claman knows the math all too well, but said it is meaningless to
someone in his position. "The rareness of complications means nothing if
you're the one suffering from the adverse reaction," he said. "It's like
the lottery: The odds mean nothing because everyone thinks they're going
to win. With the vaccine, it's the opposite: Nobody thinks this can happen
to them." Despite his experience, Mr. Claman is not opposed to the flu
vaccine or the
public-health campaigns urging everyone to get a shot. But he thinks the
message is too sugarcoated.
"Let's talk about the real risks of influenza and the real risks of the
flu shot and let people make an informed decision," he said. "But let's
not pretend that because a flu shot is generally a good idea that nothing
bad is ever going to happen." Mr. Claman said his biggest loss was
personal -- staying in hospital and away from his family, in particular a
teenage son. Being off work for months during the prime of his earning
power also took a financial toll.
Dose of danger dressed up as protector
WOULD you like your flu vaccine with mercury or without? Anyone familiar
with a toxic metal would not hesitate in their answer. But it's not a
question that anyone will be asked this winter.
How about your child's immunisations? Would you like a preservative-free
vaccine - or one which contains a substance which a US government's
medical adviser says has a "biologically plausible" link to autism? This
is the thimerosal debate. In the US, a it is huge storm involving
congressmen, medics, some £30 billion in lawsuits and a cover-up which has
left Washington mystified. But in the UK, the storm has yet to break.
Thimerosal is not new. It has been used since the Thirties to kill any
bacteria in vaccines - but by hugely controversial means. Its toxic power
is drawn from its main ingredient: mercury, second only to plutonium as
the most toxic element. Once injected in the body, thimerosal breaks down
into ethyl mercury - a substance liable to bind with body protein and,
most ominously, brain tissue. Once lodged in the body, mercury traces are
exceptionally difficult to remove.
Worse, mercury is a proven neurotoxin - that is, even small doses have
been linked to brain defects including fibromyalgia, lupus and depression.
It has not taken US lawyers long to extend this trail to autism. Other
scientific studies have found that mercury placed next to brain tissue
leads to deformities associated with Alzheimer's disease. This is the
substance which the government believes is safe to put in flu vaccines.
There must be a good reason for this, is the immediate response. But this
is the most staggering part of the debate. Mercury is not needed in these
vaccines - indeed, mercury-free jabs are available across the NHS now. So
why is no-one being told?
This is being treated as a scandal in the US, where the House of
Representatives has set up a committee to investigate the issue. Suspicion
has been fuelled by the behaviour of the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), the supreme decision-making body on vaccines. It decided to phase
out mercury in three years ago. The FDA has adopted a somewhat
contradictory attitude. "Lead, cadmium, and mercury are examples of
elements that are toxic when present at relatively low levels," it advises
chemists. But this is the same FDA which approves the intravenous
injection of such mercury in infants and pensioners.
It does not take a medical expert to spot something amiss. Mercury is a
neurotoxin - no-one disputes that. Its use in child vaccines was greatly
increased during the Nineties - a decade where autism spiralled. Mercury
in the brain induces deformities common to Alzheimer's. Might the two be
The House of Representatives committee has produced two booklets of
evidence pointing to the danger of mercury in medicine. Meanwhile, the
lawyers, scenting a tobacco-style payout, have produced their own facts.
The US government has laid down what a "safe limit" of mercury for
infants. The committee found that the vaccination programme could leave
children with 41 times more mercury than that laid down by this limit - a
key finding which fuelled calls for its abolition from medicine. This safe
limit is based on studies of 900 children born in 1987 in the Faroe
Islands whose mothers had eaten mercury-contaminated whale meat. When they
grew up, these children had slower reaction times and diminished attention
The amount of mercury in their umbilical cord blood was minute - 0.1
micrograms per kilo. But even this trace of was enough to trigger a set of
neurological conditions commonly associated with autism. Mercury is, after
all, strong enough for the amount in a thermometer to pollute a small
lake. So how can any amount be considered safe? This is the conclusion of
Dan Burton, a congressman and the chairman of the special committee, who
asked that all mercury-containing vaccines be discontinued, given that
mercury-free substitutes are now available.
"To ignore an avoidable risk and to put 8,000 children a day in harm's way
is not only inhumane, it may be criminal," he said in a report to George
Bush, the US president. The Department of Health does not use the term
"avoidable risk". It simply says its committee for safety of medicines (CSM)
has reviewed the issue and "concluded that the risk- benefit balance of
thimerosal-containing vaccines remains overwhelmingly positive". This is a
trick statement. The CSM, it says, believes that a mercury vaccine is
safer than no vaccine at all. This is true - but is a mercury-free vaccine
safer than a thimerosal-based vaccine? There is no answer on this point.
But the choice facing Britain is between a complete portfolio of
mercury-free vaccinations - including three out of the seven flu jabs
being made public this winter - or those still using thimerosal. The
question is why GPs are not advising patients that one vaccine contains
mercury and the other does not. The latest statement was made last month
by Lord Hunt, a health minister, who said the CSM has its findings backed
up by the Institute of Medicine (IoM) in the US.
He said: "The IoM published a detailed review of the evidence relating to
possible neurotoxicity of thimerosal in vaccines in October 2001. The IoM
findings were consistent with the CSM conclusions." Lord Hunt is not
telling the whole story. This was the same IoM report which said the link
between thimerosal and autism is "biologically plausible" - and that the
mercury may well kill enough brain cells to scramble children's thinking.
Dr Marie McCormick, who chaired the IoM expert panel, advised parents to
ask doctors for mercury-free vaccines if they are available. Wise advice -
available from absolutely no-one in Britain. The Department of Health says
that the IoM report "concluded that the evidence did not support a causal
association between thimerosal contained in vaccines and
neurodevelopmental disorders."Here, for the second time, is a slightly
misleading statement. No evidence? Compare this to the FDA's summary of
the same IoM report into thimerosal safety.
"It concluded that the evidence is inadequate to either accept or reject a
causal relationship between thimerosal exposure to childhood vaccines and
neurodevelopmental disorders of autism," it said. It is, in other words, a
grey area. Mercury may lead to autism; it may not - we don't have the
evidence to accept or reject this. We just don't know.
So why is the Department of Health not admitting this doubt? It may be
connected to the 200 lawsuits which were filed, claiming a total of £30
billion on behalf of parents of autistic children. This was seen off by
the US government when it passed the anti-terrorist homeland security bill
last month - guaranteeing Eli Lilly & Co, a former maker of thimerosal,
protection from multi-million-dollar lawsuits.
What had this to do with terrorism? Not very much - but it is a sign of
how seriously the link between thimerosal and autism is being taken in the
United States. The Department of Health is falling increasingly victim to
the compensation culture. There is one final aspect to the IoM report
which is not being reproduced in the UK. It urged that "full consideration
be given to removing thimerosal from any biological product to which
infants, children and pregnant women are exposed".
The Scottish Parliament has the power to ban all mercury from vaccines
now. Health is devolved, the vaccines are available and GPs have the
freedom to order what they want. It can be an example of Holyrood using
its smaller size to innovate. The medical evidence is mounting. One study
suggests it is hypersensitivity to thimerosal, not necessarily mercury
poisoning, which triggers autism. A new study into mercury and Alzheimer's
is expected later this year.
In the mean time, being injected with traces of ethyl mercury is a risk
that no-one in Britain needs to take. The latest, mercury-free vaccines
are freely available on the NHS - for those who know how to ask for them
by name. Sooner or later, the government will tell us about it.
Autism fears over mercury in flu jabs
FOUR of the seven flu jabs being issued by the government this winter
contain a mercury-based preservative which is being withdrawn in the US
amid fears of its links to autism. The Department of Health has confirmed
that most of the flu vaccines being issued through the National Health
Service contain thimerosal, a preservative which is 50 per cent composed
of ethyl mercury.
Thimerosal is already being withdrawn in the US, where a government health
authority has warned that it has a "biologically plausible" link to autism
and should not be given to pregnant women. The UK government has this year
chosen seven vaccines to combat three expected strains of the flu virus,
and is aiming to vaccinate 70 per cent of people aged over 65 in a UK-wide
The Scotsman can today name the four which, according to the Department of
Health, contain thimerosal - and, therefore, mercury. They are Fluvirin,
Fluarix, Influvac and Agrippal. The mercury-free vaccines are Inflexal V,
Begrivac and this year's flu vaccine from Aventis Pasteur. Officials have
said they do not recognise any health risk posed by the mercury in
thimerosal. As a result, patients - whether pregnant or not - are not
being advised which vaccines contain mercury. "There is no evidence of
long-term adverse effects due to the exposure levels of thimerosal in
vaccines," a Department of Health spokeswoman said.
"The risk-benefit balance of thimerosal-containing vaccines remains
She added that the Institute of Medicine in the US had looked at the issue
and had "concluded that evidence does not support a causal association
between thimerosal contained in vaccines and neuro-developmental
disorders". The IoM's exact conclusion, however, argued that such a link
was "biologically plausible" - and said there is not enough evidence to
accept or reject a link between thimerosal and neurological disorders. In
a statement which fuelled fears about thimerosal safety, it urged that
"full consideration should be given to removing thimerosal from any
biological product to which infants, children and pregnant women are
Pregnant women are advised to avoid thimerosal because the mercury affects
the foetus to a greater extent than the mother. For the same reason,
pregnant women are advised against having silver dental fillings fitted as
the amalgam is 50 per cent composed of mercury. However, the
Department of Health does not include pregnant women among the categories
of people at risk from the flu vaccine. It instead lists those with
heart problems and people allergic to hen's eggs, because the vaccines are
incubated in a similar substance. The Department of Health said its
decision to buy mercury-free vaccines is "a purely precautionary measure",
which is part of "a move in both the US and Europe to minimise the
exposure of infants to mercury". Robert McKay, a Scottish co-ordinator of
the National Autistic Society, said he was astonished that dangers about
mercury in vaccines have not been spelled out by the government. "We need
access to the same information given to parents in other countries."
"If we have a choice in vaccine, we would like to know about it. This
information should be given to families in this country so they can make
decisions for themselves." Mercury's links to autism and neuro-developmental
disorders have been well documented. Children born in the Faroe Islands in
1987 were found to have developmental disorders after their mothers ate
mercury-contaminated whale meat. Two years ago, the Journal of
Neurochemistry ran a study showing brain cells exposed to even minute
levels of mercury developed the exact set of neuro-deformations associated
with Alzheimer's disease.
Last year, Canadian research reinforced the suggested link between
exposure to mercury and Alzheimer's.
Richard Pitt Friday, January 3, 2003
The concern over a possible link between mercury and the
growing number of autistic children in America has once again focused
attention on U.S. vaccination policy. Alarm about the amount of mercury
in our bodies has been growing for years. One of the major ways this has
occurred is through vaccination. Many of the common childhood vaccines,
including DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), hepatitis B and
meningitis, contain the preservative Thimerosal, a form of mercury
compound. Although the amounts used seem to be minuscule, there are
worries that the cumulative effect of the mercury in these vaccines is a
factor in the increase in autism.
Enough concern has arisen for pharmaceutical companies to begin
eliminating Thimerosal from certain vaccines. Also, in June 2000, a number
of medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics,
recommended the removal of Thimerosal. During a recent federal hearing,
the FDA admitted that children are being exposed to unsafe levels of
mercury through vaccines containing Thimerosal.
Underlying much of the scientific debate are the political and
financial consequences of American vaccination policy. If mercury is found
definitively to have been a factor in causing autism, then vaccine
manufacturers and the government could be held legally responsible. There
have been attempts in the last year to pass bills exonerating vaccine
manufacturers from legal responsibility, even though they already enjoy
some immunity from individual liability. This culminated in a rider
slipped into the legislation that created the Homeland Security Department
that exempted vaccine manufacturers from liability from any damage from
any vaccines, not just the smallpox vaccine.
The controversy over mercury does not stop with vaccines. For many
years, the use of mercury in dental fillings has been questioned, and
there is ample scientific evidence of the risk in eating deep-sea fish due
to mercury toxicity. The FDA recommends eating only a few ounces of such
fish each week, and for pregnant women to be especially cautious.
As with other heavy metals such as lead, it is clear that exposure
in relatively small amounts can lead to developmental damage, and that the
most vulnerable are babies in the womb and young children. It is becoming
increasingly clear that while evidence accumulates linking mercury to
autism and other conditions, vaccine manufacturers, dental organizations
and others are fighting a rear-guard action, denying any link until they
escape legal responsibility.
Given the evidence, why is there now a movement to give babies and
pregnant women the flu vaccine, which still contains Thimerosal? (Thimerosal
has not yet been removed from all vaccines.) Two to three years ago, the
vaccine was recommended only for those at risk of complications from the
flu, predominantly the elderly. Now, it is being given routinely to
virtually everybody. In the last 20 years, the number of vaccine antigens
(disease agents) recommended for children has already increased from 25 to
77. What is the rationale and what are the scientific data to justify
Although the official policy is to give the flu vaccine only to
high-risk babies susceptible to other diseases, such as asthma, the
vaccine is now being given routinely to many other children. The
recommendation for pregnant women to get the vaccine is equally
questionable, and no adequate studies have been conducted to monitor
safety for mother and child. Even the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention have said that "additional data are needed to confirm the
safety of vaccine during pregnancy."
From a commonsense point of view, young babies are not at risk from
the flu, especially when healthy and when being breast-fed. It is ironic
that while manufacturers are taking Thimerosal out of some vaccines,
doctors are increasing by giving the flu vaccine containing it.
Richard Pitt is a San Francisco-based homeopath and health educator.
Posted at 10:29 AM on Sunday, January 19, 2003
Flu vaccination suspected in emergency director's illness
By TIM UNRUH
The Salina Journal
Gail Aills is walking with a cane these days and reminiscing about a
holiday season he'd have rather skipped.
Excruciating leg and hip pain marked the end of 2002 for the director of
Saline County Emergency Management. Neurologist Trent Davis diagnosed it
as Guillian-Barre Syndrome, which may have have been a reaction to the flu
vaccination Aills received Nov. 15.
"You want to cry and scream and yell," said Aills, 62, describing the
agony that invaded his lower body. "I thought I had a pretty high
threshold of pain. That, I couldn't handle." He spent 23 days in Salina
Regional Health Center and is faced with a long recovery, including
physical therapy, and isn't expected to return to work until sometime next
month. Until then, Bryan Armstrong, deputy director, is running Saline
County Emergency Management.
"I'll never top him with childbirth again," quipped Jo Ann Aills, his
wife, referring to the pain.
A former Salina firefighter who has headed Emergency Management since
1990, Aills said he received a flu shot when it was offered to all city
and county employees at the Saline County Health Clinic, 125 W. Elm. He's
been vaccinated every year for two decades. Aills came down with a cold
afterward and jokingly blamed it on the vaccination. It lasted a couple of
days. But on Dec. 2, he started experiencing discomfort after a
Thanksgiving trip to Enid, Okla.
"I'd had a little pain in my hip and attributed it to the long ride," he
But it became worse Dec. 2 and continued when he went to work in the
basement of the Law Enforcement Center. A heating pad provided some
relief, but it persisted, so he left work at noon, thinking he might find
a comfortable sitting position in a recliner at home. Next he moved to
lying on his back in a sort of fetal position on the living room floor.
"It was hurting bad enough that we called the doctor, which is enough to
know," Jo Ann Aills said. "He never calls the doctor." Their family
physician, Dr. Mark Krehbiel, prescribed muscle relaxers, but they weren't
adequate. Aills still was sleeping on the floor and groaning. He attended
the Saline County Commission meeting Dec. 3 to deliver the monthly
Emergency Management report and then returned home.
"That's when we started real serious pain," Jo Ann Aills said.
It continued Dec. 4, spreading from Aills' left hip down his leg and to
his toes. At 10 that night, they headed to the emergency room at Salina
Regional. He asked for an ambulance, but eventually opted to try the back
seat of their family car. Once at the hospital, however, Jo Ann, requested
"There was no way he could get out of the car and stand," she said.
Addressing the pain
In the hospital, Aills was put on morphine, but the powerful drug had no
effect on him. "I told them to find something else for pain relief," Gail
Aills said. Davis kept him on morphine, but he also prescribed three
anti-seizure medications, which he said have proved to decrease nerve
injury pain. "I'm sure it was a miserable month for him," Davis said.
After a full round of tests, including two painful spinal taps, Aills was
diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome.
Davis started Aills on two treatments, first an intravenous infusion of
gamma globulin, or antibodies that are pooled from thousands of blood
donors. "We hope these will attack the antibodies in his system which are
attacking his nerves," the neurologist said. But that didn't work for
Aills, so Davis tried plasma pheresis -- commonly known as blood cleansing
or plasma exchange -- on a device similar to a kidney dialysis machine.
"It's filtering of the blood where the protein and fluid in the blood are
drawn off and discarded, leaving only red cells," he said. Other fluid and
blood protein are added.
"That worked," Davis said.
Aills received six treatments -- lasting three hours each -- during 12
Not rare, but not common
Guillian-Barre Syndrome is not exactly rare, occurring in one in 100,000
people, the neurologist said, and a flu shot reaction is one cause. "As
diseases go, it's nowhere near as common as stroke or (multiple
sclerosis)," he said, "but we see cases of it every year." Guillian-Barre
usually surfaces during the viral seasons in the spring and fall, he said.
Symptoms include varying combinations of muscle weakness and numbness,
tingling, and/or pain. "It tends to progress from nothing to full strength
over a few days to a week," Davis said. Weakness can be severe enough to
hinder respiration and swallowing, he said.
"Sometimes people have to be on a ventilator for awhile," Davis said.
"It's rarely fatal. In fact, excellent recovery is more the rule than the
exception, but it may take anywhere from a few weeks to 18 months."
Aills' symptoms included numbness and sharp burning pain.
"We were afraid it would creep up into my vital organs," Aills said, but
it didn't. He developed a staph infection from the blood cleansing and
spent Christmas in the hospital. With low blood pressure and a
103.2-degree fever, it set Aills' recovery back three days. Also a Type II
diabetic, his blood sugar levels shot up from the various drugs he was
The couple celebrated Christmas on the following Saturday with their four
children, eight grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren.
Aills left the hospital Dec. 27 and began physical therapy about 10 days
ago at Salina Regional to regain leg strength, knowing he faces weeks to
months of recovery. "This week has been a little bit rough," Jo Ann Aills
said, so her husband has taken a break from therapy. "He has to get a
little better before he tries it again." Aills' physical strength has
diminished, cutting short daily walks that are essential in controlling
diabetes. "My left leg is still so weak," Aills said, adding that he's
fallen several times. "Taking a shower can be exhausting."
No reason not to get flu shot
While Aills won't likely take another flu shot, Davis said the yearly
inoculations are worth the risk, even for other members of the Aills
family. "It was just a particular sensitivity he has to the shots," Davis
said, pointing to 1977 when swine flu vaccines brought about a number of
Guillian-Barre Syndrome cases across the nation. He speculated that the
particular viruses targeted by this year's flu shot may have triggered a
reaction in Aills.
"It's an uncomfortable condition to have. It disrupts life and work, but
it rarely kills," Davis said, adding that he's been flu-free for the 10
years he's taken the annual shot. "When you look at the figures of people
dying from influenza, it's well worth it." The neurologist can't be
totally sure the flu shot had anything to do with Aills' condition, but
given that symptoms began within 10 to 15 days, it's a "typical interval"
between the shot and the onset of pain
"It would, at this point, be my best guess," Davis said. "There's no way
to prove it." A report of Aills' experience has been sent to the federal
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "It's not in the
administration of the vaccine or the vaccine itself," said Yvonne Gibbons,
interim director of the Saline County Health Department. "The percentages
of this happening are low, but it's not uncommon with immunization
programs." The reaction can occur after a viral infection or from
other immunizations, and some women have the symptoms after childbirth,
"It's your own immune system attacking the body," Gibbons said. "People
should not be discouraged. We would not encourage (Aills) to get a shot
again." Jo Ann Aills said she is planning to get a flu shot this coming
fall. "I don't want people not to get their shots," she said. "Some
people really need them."
Side effects of influenza vaccines kill seven in two years
The side effects of influenza vaccines killed seven people in the two
years through last March, and more than 80 people suffer from the adverse
effects of such shots each year, the health ministry said Tuesday.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which gave the data to the Diet at
the request of a Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker, said the number of
reported side effects totaled 82 cases in fiscal 2000, rising to 87 the
The symptoms include fever, vomiting and shock. Most have recovered, but
21 people who took the vaccines are still suffering side effects. The
seven people who died after being injected with flu vaccines were all
older than 60, the ministry said. The causes of death included acute
hepatitis and acute pneumonia. In fiscal 2001, according to health
ministry data, 10 million flu shots were shipped and 6.4 million people
aged over 60 were vaccinated.
Influenza vaccines are extracted from virus cultures implanted in chicken
eggs. Unlike polio and other preventive vaccines, influenza vaccines do
not give total immunity to recipients. However, they are effective in
reducing the chances of contracting the illness as well as preventing
serious complications, including pneumonia.
The Japan Times: Feb. 5, 2003
12 million doses of flu vaccine for the current season remain unsold. 2002
Oculo-respiratory Syndrome: A New Influenza VaccineAssociated Adverse
Danuta M. Skowronski,1 Barbara Strauss,1,4 Gaston De Serres,5 Diane
MacDonald,1 Stephen A. Marion,2 Monika Naus,1 David M. Patrick,1 and Perry
Kendall3 1University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and
2Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver, and 3Office of the Provincial Health Officer,
Ministry of Health Planning, Victoria, British Columbia; 4Health Canada,
Population and Public Health Branch, Field Epidemiology Training Program,
Ottawa, Ontario; and 5Institut National de Santé Publique de Québec,
During the 20002001 influenza immunization campaign in Canada, a new
adverse event, oculo-respiratory syndrome (ORS), was noted in association
with administration of vaccine supplied by one manufacturer. The original
definition for ORS specified bilateral conjunctivitis, facial edema, or
respiratory symptoms beginning 224 h after influenza vaccination and
resolving within 48 h after onset. To characterize the spectrum, severity,
and impact of ORS, we contacted persons who had reported any influenza
vaccineassociated adverse event in British Columbia, Canada, during the
2000 2001 vaccination campaign. With use of a standardized telephone
interview, we collected information from 609 (79%) of 769 eligible
persons. Thirteen percent of ORS-affected persons reported onset 2 h after
vaccination, 27% experienced symptoms for >48 h, and 42% considered the
symptoms to be severe. The surveillance case definition for ORS for
20012002 was revised to include onset 24 h after vaccination, with no
restriction on duration. ORS should be incorporated into annual influenza
vaccine safety monitoring.
Received 7 October 2002; accepted 25 November 2002; electronically
published 5 March 2003. Financial support: University of British Columbia
Centre for Disease Control.
US Panel Probes Safety of Flu Vaccine
Fri March 14, 2003 11:14 AM ET
By Todd Zwillich
WASHINGTON (Reuters Health) - A government-sponsored panel of experts held
its final public deliberations this week in preparation for an upcoming
report detailing the safety of the nation's most widely used vaccine.
Experts from the Institute of Medicine will report sometime this summer on
the scientific evidence surrounding the influenza vaccine, amid evidence
that it can, in rare cases, cause severe reactions including a
neurological disorder. Approximately 80 million doses of flu vaccine were
distributed in the 2002-2003 flu season, making it the most common form of
immunization in the U.S. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu
vaccines for all adults over age 50, patients in nursing homes or other
facilities, many children between 6 months and 18 years old, and virtually
anyone else who wants to avoid coming down with the virus.
Growing safety concerns among consumers over immunizations in general have
spread to the flu vaccine, which has been linked to several outbreaks of a
neurological disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. The syndrome is
caused by destruction of the protective sheath around nerve cells, and can
lead to muscle weakness, sensory loss, or paralysis. The CDC recorded
approximately 70 cases of Guillain-Barré in vaccinated people in
1996-1997, though scientists believe that many more cases could have
actually occurred. Cases have dropped steadily since 1997, and 15 were
reported during last winter's flu season.
The agency now estimates that Guillain-Barré affects one to two persons
for every million vaccinated, Dr. Robert T. Chen, head of the CDC's
immunization safety branch, told the IOM committee. But researchers still
do not know how many of the cases are directly linked to the vaccine or
how it might cause neurological problems.
"Parents are asking me all the time, 'What should I do," said Dr. Lawrence
Palevksy, a pediatrician based in Reston, Va. "The questions keep mounting
and the answers aren't there." Bacterial contamination from eggs, which
are used to manufacture the vaccine, was thought to be the source of an
outbreak in the 1976-1977 flu season in which 581 Guillain-Barré cases
were found in people immunized against swine flu.
People were sickened by flu vaccines made by all four manufacturers who
produced them at the time. Yet, smaller Guillain-Barré outbreaks have
occurred since then, even without apparent contamination, much to the
confusion of scientists. Chen told the committee that researchers suspect
that genetic differences may play a large role in determining who is
vulnerable to the disorder following vaccination.
"We have this one year (1976) that sort of sticks out like a sore thumb,"
responded Dr. Christopher Wilson, a member of the panel who is also a
professor of immunology at the University of Washington. Another study
looking at a possible link between the flu vaccine and an increased risk
of multiple sclerosis failed to produce a reliable
connection, according to CDC researcher Frank DeStefano.
Causes of the flu vaccine's side effects are more difficult to determine
than those of other vaccines, partly because the vaccine's components
change every year. Manufacturers constantly alter the viral contents of
to keep up with shifting strains of flu viruses.
Deciding what to do about potential side effects is also complicated by
the fact that just one company, Aventis-Pasteur, currently manufactures
the vaccine in the United States. Some witnesses warned that an IOM report
paints the flu vaccine as risky could jeopardize a domestic supply of the
product. "Please don't frighten the manufacturer away from manufacturing
vaccine," said Dr. Robert G. Webster, a professor of virology at St.
Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Webster told the
committee that deciding whether or not to get immunized against the flu
should be "a no-brainer" for most people since its benefits outweigh its
While Guillain-Barré remains relatively rare, influenza is responsible for
approximately 20,000 deaths and 115,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each
year, according to CDC figures. The committee is expected to issue its
report sometime in the next three months, said Marie C. McCormick, the
panel's chair. The report will be the last in a series of immunization
safety reviews that began in 2001.
British pharmaceutical company Medeva's Liverpool plant was found by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be producing vaccines in filthy
conditions. The FDA report found that Medeva neither maintained nor
cleaned its equipment. It also reported that Medeva was unable to prove
that its vaccines were not contaminated with bacteria or fungi. Because it
exports flu vaccine to America, Medeva got a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) “warning” to clean up its act. However, in a report
dated October 22, 2000, The Observer noted that the FDA had not
re-inspected the filthy Medeva factory since it sent the warning letter
earlier this year and has given the company the green light to sell an
estimated 20,000,000 doses of its “Fluvarin” flu vaccine in the U.S.
during this cold and flu season. FDA approval of the potentially
contaminated Fluvarin for sale in the U.S. was likely influenced by a
shortage of flu vaccine here this season. According to Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Program Director Dr.
William Atkinson, the A-Moscow-1099 strain of flu virus did not incubate
properly this year and, therefore, did not produce "serum" in large enough
quantities to produce sufficient doses of flu vaccine to meet demand. So,
despite Medeva's history of contamination and production blunders, FDA has
authorized the distribution of Fluvarin to clinics and hospitals all over
the nation. According to The Observer, the FDA claims that the vaccine is
safe. The FDA also, at one time, claimed that silicone breast implants and
Phen-Phen were "safe" -- and those are just two of many FDA-approved
products that have ultimately been linked to serious health side-effects
that include chronic degenerative disease and death. Fluvarin is currently
on the shelves of doctors' offices and health departments all over the
country and is being administered to the public. Medical personnel in the
northwest U.S. who confirm that they have administered Fluvarin are
unaware of the Medeva scandal or the likelihood that the triple-antigen
flu vaccine is contaminated.
Consumer Group in Italy Urges Flu Patients to Sue
Tue Feb 25, 5:37 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!
By Rossella Lorenzi
FLORENCE (Reuters Health) - Italy's main consumer association, Codacons,
has urged people who catch the flu after being vaccinated to take legal
action, saying the government allowed this year's version of the vaccine
to be released prematurely. Because the influenza virus is so variable,
each year the World Health Organisation and other groups advise
governments on what viral strains the vaccine should protect against.
This year, WHO-recommended vaccines include the same influenza A (H1N1)
and influenza B strains included in the previous flu season. But a
the third component was delayed until March 14.
The US Food and Drug Administration said last week that its own decision
whether to include the influenza A/Panama/2007/99 (H3N2) strain had also
been postponed after late-breaking data showed that the current vaccine is
not effective against some emerging H3N2 viruses. "The pharmaceutical
companies may have put the vaccine on the market too early, mapping the
influenza strains too far in advance. We wonder how the health ministry
could have allowed the marketing of the vaccine so early," Codacons said
in an official statement.
The group invited those who develop flu symptoms after being given the
vaccine to file a complaint via its legal offices, asking for compensation
up to 1,100 euros ($1,120 US). "The suit will be directed against the
pharmaceutical companies and the health ministry, if its responsibility is
proved. We have asked Turin prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello to investigate
on this case. The consumers should have known on what strains the vaccine
has been tested," Carlo Rienzi, the Codacons president, told Reuters
But according to Italy's National Health Institute, this year's vaccine
works well in 70-80% of the cases. "A flu vaccine doesn't offer a 100%
protection," said Dr. Donato Greco, director of the Laboratory of
Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the National Institute of Health. "This
year the efficacy of the vaccine is within the average. Our data shows
that among the elderly who took the vaccine, a very low percentage got the
flu," he told Reuters Health.
Clinical & Experimental Dermatology
Volume 28 Issue 2 Page 154 - March 2003
Clinical dermatology Concise report Leucocytoclastic vasculitis and
influenza vaccination S. Tavadia, A. Drummond>*, C. D. Evans>* and N. J.
Influenza vaccination is recommended for all people over 75 years of age
and for an expanding range of other indications. Side-effects of influenza
vaccination are usually mild but we describe four cases of
vasculitis following influenza vaccination. The four patients, who were
all elderly, presented with cutaneous vasculitis but all had abnormal
urinalysis suggestive of associated renal involvement. Since 1974 only 10
vasculitis following influenza vaccination have been reported in the
literature. The clinical features of these cases are reviewed. As the use
of influenza vaccination is likely to increase, dermatologists should be
aware of the possible association with vasculitis.
FLU JAB KILLS RITA (66)
Tuesday, November 21, 2000
Doctor tells her family it caused lethal brain bug A SCOTS pensioner has
died after being given a flu
jab. Just two days after the injection, Rita Gillooly, 66, was struck down
by the same bug which hospitalised
Celtic star Morten Wieghorst. Doctors have told Rita's family there is "no
doubt" that the jab brought on Guillain Barre Syndrome - a condition
affecting the nervous system which paralyses sufferers.
Last night, her son John said: "I wouldn't want anyone to die the way my
mother did. She couldn't even talk
at the end. People aren't aware that the injection can cause death."
Rita, of Milton, Glasgow, was struck down with the condition 48 hours
after getting the injection at her local GP's surgery on November 7.
Although most people, including Danish midfielder Wieghorst, make a full
recovery, Rita's heart was already weakened by a triple-bypass operation
she underwent last year. She first complained of numbness in her legs and
her husband John, 67, took her to Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow before she
was transferred to the neurological
unit of the city's Southern General Hospital where eventually died. Her
son and three daughters could only watch
helplessly at her bedside as the paralysis crept up her body. But last
night one of Britain's leading Guillain Barre
experts urged the public not to panic.
Dr Hugh Willison, of the Southern General, said: "In Scotland, between 50
and 100 people will develop the
condition every year. Of that number only one or two per cent of cases
will have been connected to the flu
vaccination." Rita's son John said: "I know it's selfish but if my mum had
to die, I'd rather she'd have gone really
quickly. "We had to watch her deteriorate every single day. "She seemed
okay after the injection but a couple of
days later she said she couldn't feel her legs and collapsed. "We took
her to Stobhill first but the doctors were
baffled and transferred her to the Southern General. "She started getting
much worse but the doctors said
it was a viral infection and they had to let it run its course.
"Then her blood pressure dropped dramatically last Tuesday and they gave
her adrenaline. "We were warned that if the pressure dropped again they
couldn't give her any more adrenaline because it would bring on a heart
"Mum was taken to intensive care the same night. Morten Wieghorst was in
the next ward and was passing
by to have tests when she was wheeled down. "He said not to worry and he
would see her when she got back to the ward. "But two days later, we were
told mum had just 24 hours to live. Her kidneys and liver had failed.
"She'd lost her voice totally with the paralysis and she took a chest
"We were all with her when she died and we couldn't understand it. "Mum
was a fit woman who walked the Giant's Causeway only a few months after
her heart operation. "I suppose if the condition can leave a young, fit
footballer on the brink of death there was no chance for my mother."
Doctors have told the family Rita's illness was
triggered by the flu jab. But Dr Willison said: "One of the biggest
outbreaks of GBS in the 1970s was thought to be following influenza
vaccinations. "I would advise people to see their doctor if they are
worried about the affects of the injection but I would have no qualms
about having it myself. The risks are minimal. "The flu can be
devastating. It kills a large number of people every year and many people
have to take weeks off work." Gordon Peebles, spokesman for the Guillain
Barre Syndrome support group, counsels families whose loved ones fall
victim to the condition.
He said: "I saw three women last January who fell ill with GBS following
the flu vaccination. The condition
always follows infection and vaccinations work in a similar way in that
people are being injected with bacteria. It is very unusual that someone
actually dies from GBS. "People usually make a recovery and are able to
with their lives again." John said: "I would never advise anyone not to
get the flu injection but I will never have it myself. "I had no idea when
my mother went to the doctors for a simple jab she would end up dead two
U.S. IMMUNIZATION NEWS
"Flu Shots: Safer, but Less Effective for Older People"
Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com) (09/22/03) P. F3; Roan, Shari
The influenza vaccine is being urged for those over the age of 50 years
once again, because that population is the most vulnerable to flu. Yet the
vaccine is at its lowest effectiveness among the elderly, with Laura
Haynes, an immunologist at the Trudeau Institute in New York, saying that
the vaccine can be as much as 60 percent less effective. Researchers are
trying to figure out how to change that percentage without changing the
safety profile of the influenza vaccine. Made up of proteins from a
variety of flu strains, the vaccine is unable to cause flu, but its high
safety profile means that it does not provide coverage against every kind
of flu, which leaves patients vulnerable--especially the elderly, who are
less able to fight off the disease.
Vaccine doubts for new flu virus
By Iain Harrison
DOCTORS bracing themselves for an outbreak of a deadly flu virus are still
not certain whether it can be countered by the currently available
vaccine. The Fujian strain of the bug, which has claimed the lives of at
least four British children already this winter, is not present in the
stocks being used for the vaccination programme.
Now scientists admit they cannot be sure how effective the vaccine will be
in protecting the population if the new virus strain becomes rampant.
World-renowned flu expert, Professor John Oxford, of Barts and the London,
Queen Mary’s School of Medicine, says vaccines currently being used to
immunise at-risk groups were cultivated to protect against the Panama
strain. It is a distant relative of the Fujian form of the bug — named
eastern province of China — which caused widespread chaos in Australia
earlier this year.
“The Fujian and Panama strains of flu are related to each other but
unfortunately, they are not brother and sister, they are cousins,”
explains Professor Oxford. “Therefore, we can’t say for certain what level
of protection the current vaccine will provide, though it’s bound to give
some. “The decision on which strains the vaccine should protect against is
a difficult one as it’s taken very early in the year.
“It’s impossible to predict what will happen and, although the Fujian
strain was on the radar screen when the decision was made, we didn’t have
it in the laboratory. “At that stage there were question marks over it and
I think the correct decision was made to go with the current vaccine.” Dr
Jim McMenamin, of the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental
Health, is hopeful the vaccine will offer protection from Fujian flu. And
he urged people in at-risk groups who have yet to be inoculated to get the
jab urgently. “What we know is that the Fujian strain that appears to have
been identified so far is very similar to the strain types contained in
the vaccine,” he
“In the southern hemisphere they saw increased levels of flu activity, but
not an epidemic. Therefore, the vaccine must be working to some level.” Dr
McMenamin added that all the health boards in Scotland had reported cases
of flu this winter but said he couldn’t predict how the outbreak would
spread. “What we do know about flu is it’s unpredictable and when it
arrives it usually stays for at least six to eight weeks.” NHS Tayside is
currently finalising its winter planning initiative. A spokeswoman for NHS
Tayside said flu levels in the region stand at between
60 and 70 per 100,000 people, which is normal seasonal activity. If this
changes, plans which can be put in place include having additional staff
and beds in the Intensive Care Unit and High Dependency Unit at Ninewells
Hospital in Dundee. “We are not aware of any cases of the Fujian strain in
Tayside, but the message is that if you are over 65, or under 65 and in
the at-risk group, then get a vaccine,” the spokeswoman added.
Vaccine side effects hit children
( 2003-11-10 22:49) (China Daily)
The health bureau of the city of Fushun, in Northeast China's Liaoning
Province, has issued orders stopping the using of a flu vaccine that may
cause infants to suffer fever and even twitching after vaccination.
Zhou Yi, an official with the city's health bureau said in a phone call
that four babies had had serious side effects to a vaccine, including
twitching and high fever. Fortunately, they had recovered by Friday
after emergency treatment and two
days in the hospital, the official added.
Though the precise reasons for the side effects are as yet unknown, the
bureau has banned use of all vaccines of the same type, he said. The
vaccines were part of a supply of more than 1,000 vials of domestically
made flu vaccine that the bureau purchased through legal channels, said
Zhou, who refused to reveal the name of the producer. "The supply of flu
vaccine was limited, and there was a huge demand for shots among local
parents who wanted their babies safe from flu,'' he said.
During the past week, at least 100 infants were vaccinated at the
hospital, Su Junyan, a doctor with Fushun No 2 Hospital, was quoted as
saying by the Shenyang-based Huashang Morning Post. Last Wednesday
evening, at least 10 infants who had been vaccinated against flu in the
Fushun No 2 Hospital that morning, were brought back to the hospital
running a fever, the newspaper reported. The local disease
prevention and control centre has investigated the accident. Wu
Jiang, an expert with the Beijing municipal disease prevention and control
centre said no similar cases have ever been heard of in the capital.
But he stressed that research results show the smaller in age children
are, the stronger will be their reaction to vaccinations. "The reaction of
people to vaccination depends on the kind of vaccine, their age and the
dosage,'' said Wu, adding the side effects of flu vaccines can be somewhat
mitigated by drinking lots of water. In September, the city's
vaccination service prepared a supply of flu vaccines specially designed
for infants under three years old, which were either imported or produced
by joint-venture pharmaceutical firms.
Longtime dream spurs fight against paralysis
Washington County sheriff in 2nd term
Friday, November 28, 2003
Sandersville --- One morning more than a decade ago, Thomas Smith woke up
and his feet wouldn't move. Twenty minutes later, he had trouble
breathing. Soon he was in the hospital. So much for his lifelong dream of
becoming a sheriff, Smith thought. But today, he's reached that goal.
Smith, 43, has twice been elected sheriff of Washington County, midway
between Macon and Augusta. Last month, Gov. Sonny Perdue gave him the
sheriffs' 2003 Public Safety Award for achievements including offering a
GED program for county inmates.
''The best thing you can say about Thomas is he overcame adversity and he
helps his people,'' said Terry Norris of the Georgia Sheriffs'
Association, of which Smith will become president next summer. ''He's
tougher than a lightered knot. He has been through so much adversity.''
In 1991, Smith was so paralyzed he had to wink once for yes, twice for no.
If a friend hadn't arrived at Smith's house when he did, Smith
believes he would have died.
''I couldn't figure out why this had happened to me,'' Smith said. ''It
got to a point where I asked God to take me away.'' Smith was diagnosed
with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare but rapid onset of weakness or
paralysis in which the body's immune system typically attacks the body
itself. The syndrome can be triggered by vaccinations and it has no
known cause or cure. In Smith's case, a flu shot sparked the disease.
Smith was paralyzed from the neck down, and he spent five months on a
ventilator, at times feeling ''like somebody's driving nails into you.''
The day after he prayed for his life to end, he began to get better.
''That's when my feelings became so strong about God,'' said Smith, who
has turned one room of his jail into a chapel.
Now he's nearly completely recovered.
He wears ankle braces, has lost some grip in his right hand and speaks
with a gravelly voice because of scar tissue that built up on his vocal
cords. Smith said he had wanted to be a sheriff ever since he was a child.
He went so far as to skip school so he could spend time at the police
station. As sheriff, he decided to help inmates better themselves. Smith
and Sandersville Technical College started offering the GED program about
two years ago. Because inmates spend a relatively short time in jail,
those who want a GED are given an evaluation exam, and the program focuses
only on what they need.
Some critics have told Smith they think criminals ought to be working on
the side of the road, not taking classes. ''That was on my mind when
I was thinking about these programs,'' he said. ''But I know it's the
right thing to do.'' The jails also offer weekly Alcoholics Anonymous
sessions and will find drug treatment programs for misdemeanor offenders
USA - Flu vaccine stampede offers preview of pandemic 30 Dec 2003
State health departments scrambled to connect those in need of a flu shot
with dwindling supplies.
Washington (USA) -- There could be a silver lining to this season's
widespread shortage of flu vaccine. v After the panic caused by last
fall's severe and early flu outbreak, people may in future years place a
higher priority on rolling up their sleeves for that annual
pre-Thanksgiving shot, thus providing manufacturers a more
predictable market and cutting down on the estimated 36,000 deaths
attributed to the flu each year.
'We've tried to scare people for years to get them to get their flu
shots. But they didn't respond until this year,' said Richard
Raymond, MD, chief medical officer for the Nebraska Health and Human
Services System. (wonder what that entailed? Scaring us?)
Nebraska, like many other states, was faced with a run on vaccine supplies
when residents were frightened by reports of flu deaths of several
children in neighboring Colorado. As the news traveled, resulting
shortages prompted health officials in several locations to take creative
steps to redistribute meager supplies so those at highest risk had a
better chance of finding the vaccine.
Dr. Raymond used his state's Health Alert Network, which was developed
using federal bioterrorism dollars, to collect information from
physicians, pharmacists and others who still had vaccine. The
responses to the alert began at 8 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2003. By 5 p.m. that
night, every local health department had faxed the total number of doses
they had in their districts. 'We were able to do something so that those
people who called knew where to go to get flu vaccine,' said Dr. Raymond.
Ultimately, though, 'all we did was
help everybody run out by Wednesday rather than by Friday.' Kansas
set up a toll-free phone line to do much the same thing, said state deputy
epidemiologist Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH. Dr. Hansen was also hoping that
vaccine manufacturers had held a supply in abeyance that could still be
tapped by the states -- a scenario that came to pass on Dec. 11, 2003,
when Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced that
250,000 doses of vaccine had been purchased from Aventis Pasteur.
Of the extra doses, 100,000 were adult vaccine and were quickly shipped to
state health departments. The remaining 150,000 doses were pediatric.
These supplies are expected to be shipped to states this month. The
vaccine in short supply was the inactivated version given via injection.
Supplies of the live, inhaled vaccine were more readily available -- at
least in mid-December.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that the
inactivated vaccine be reserved for children and adults at the highest
risk of serious complications from the flu and that the live vaccine be
used by healthy people older than 5 and younger than 65.
Although several children have died in the current flu season, which got
off to an early start in October, it's not yet clear whether the siege
will ultimately prove to be more deadly than in other years, or the strain
of virus more
virulent than strains that have come before, said CDC Director Julie
Gerberding, MD, MPH, during a Dec. 11, 2003, briefing. 'It's just too
early in the course of the outbreak to say for sure how this will
compare overall,' she said. 'But obviously the early start and the early
widespread activity have given us a great deal of concern. And obviously
it has concerned a lot of people and that's why there's been such an
interest in getting the vaccination this year.'
Meanwhile, the widespread vaccine shortage coupled with the vaccine's
lengthy annual production schedule are increasing worries in the public
health community that the nation is not prepared for a flu pandemic that
some believe is inevitable and overdue.
While public health surveillance is better and antivirals that mitigate
flu symptoms are available in limited amounts, the flu vaccine is still
developed using technology from the 1940s and 1950s, said Greg Poland, MD,
the Mayo Vaccine Research Group at Mayo Clinic's College of Medicine in
Rochester, Minn. 'New technologies are in the works, but they have to be
approved by the Food and Drug Administration,' Dr. Poland said. 'In a
pandemic phase it's likely that there's not going to be any vaccine,' said
Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, associate professor of family medicine at the
University of Wisconsin. In addition, the current supply of antivirals is
not nearly enough to treat the number of people likely to be ill, he
The Infectious Diseases Society of America, a group of 7,000 infectious
diseases physicians and scientists, urged Secretary Thompson to begin work
now on an international research strategy to ensure global access to a
pandemic influenza vaccine. While the United States has committed
substantial resources toward research and control of several serious
emerging infectious diseases and potential bioterrorism agents, the IDSA
views pandemic influenza as representing a far greater threat to the
United States and other countries.
In an August letter to Thompson, the society recommended that greater
attention be paid to reverse genetics -- a technique that more rapidly
prepares strains of influenza viruses for use in vaccine production. 'The
extraordinary importance of reverse genetics was demonstrated recently by
the preparation of a candidate vaccine strain derived from an avian
influenza virus isolated a few weeks earlier in Hong Kong,' according to
Dr. Poland suggests a broadening of the vaccination policy as a way to
ready the nation's health system for a pandemic. 'We have a big problem in
this country,' he said. 'The public is fickle. In normal years they don't
get the vaccine and we make 70 million doses of it and waste 12 million.
Now all of a sudden it's a bad year and everybody's angry that they can't
get the vaccine.' Dr. Poland would like to see the development of an
influenza vaccination policy that includes everyone. 'The reason being, if
we can develop the infrastructure now to do it, pandemic planning becomes
a lot easier.'
Who to vaccinate
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an attempt to target
the scarce flu vaccine to those who need it most, recommends that the
following groups be given priority:
- Healthy children ages 6-23 months.
- All those over age 2 who have underlying chronic conditions.
- Pregnant women in their second or third trimester.
- Adults age 65 and over.
Out of shots
Because of the vaccine shortage, many people are likely to not get flu
shots. In those cases physicians can:
- Encourage healthy people ages 5 to 49 to be vaccinated intranasally with
the live, attenuated influenza vaccine.
- Encourage good hygiene that includes hand washing and staying home when
symptomatic with a fever and respiratory illness.
- Provide antiviral medications to treat the flu, or as a
chemoprophylaxis, especially for those at high risk for complications.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
FLU SHOT REACTIONS WORRY OFFICIALS
Thu, 07 Dec 2000
Almost 1,000 Canadians have suffered adverse reactions to the flu
vaccine in the past two months, Health Canada has revealed. That's
nearly 80 times as many as for the same period last year. While the
outbreak, dubbed oculo-respiratory syndrome, is well under control
resulting in only four hospitalizations and no deaths it has set off
alarm bells among public-health experts, who worry about the country's
ability to respond to a genuine crisis. "Safety, and the perception of
safety, is key to our immunization programs,"
Dr. Greg Hammond, director of public health for Manitoba Health, said
yesterday at a conference in Halifax. But the syndrome has highlighted
some glaring shortcomings in Canada's vaccination infrastructure, he
told more than 800 delegates attending the Fourth National Immunization
Conference. The most troubling is an absence of immunization
registries. This means public-health officials do not know how many
doses of the flu vaccine have been administered. The lack of bar-code
numbering on the products means it would also be impossible to trace
individuals if there turned out to be a serious problem with a vaccine,
Dr. Hammond said.
(More than 20 million vaccine doses are administered annually in
Canada, making vaccination the most frequent medical act.)
In addition, a lack of communications strategy means public-health
officials would not be ready to issue timely warnings, and the lack of
research money means it has been a strain to get experts to turn their
attention to this issue, he said. "This is serious stuff. We must get
it right," he told delegates. Oculo-respiratory syndrome is
characterized by conjunctivitis (red eyes), respiratory symptoms
(cough, sore throat or wheezing) and occasionally a facial rash that
occurs in the hours after inoculation with the flu vaccine. The
symptoms clear up within 48 hours.
Dr. Eleni Galanis of Health Canada said that 921 cases have been
identified since October. Last year, 12 people receiving the flu
vaccine reported respiratory problems. (Another striking contrast is
that the United States has
recorded 200 cases of this sort of reaction in the past decade.) More
than half the cases of oculo-respiratory syndrome (472) were in Quebec,
and virtually all of the reactions (911) have been in people receiving
Fluviral, a vaccine manufactured by BioChem Pharma Inc. of Laval, Que.
The company has shipped 3.8 million doses of the product, largely in
Quebec and British Columbia. Another manufacturer, Aventis Pasteur Inc.
of Toronto, has shipped 5.6 million doses of two other flu vaccines but
the two account for only 10 cases
of oculo-respiratory syndrome.
Researchers are not certain, however, whether the reaction might affect
how well the vaccine works. Data presented at the conference yesterday
revealed that more than three-quarters of the reactions have been in
women and 80 per cent of sufferers are in the 30-59 age group. ttp://www.healthmall.com/newsletter.cfm
Insight on the News - National
FROM INSIGHT MAGAZINE
Flu Secrets You Should Know
By Kelly Patricia O Meara
Early in the 20th century an influenza known as the "Spanish Flu"
claimed the lives of an estimated 20 million to 40 million people
worldwide. It has been called the pandemic of 1918-1919, one of the
most devastating in recorded history, claiming more lives than the
"Great War" of 1914-1918, and even topping the death toll of the Black
Death, or bubonic plague, that swept from far China in the 1330s across
the face of Europe well into 1352.
Given the deadly history of the highly contagious flu virus, it comes
as little surprise that governments and their public-health agencies
pay keen attention to influenzalike illnesses arising even in the most
remote corners of the world, or that news organizations cover the topic
with a virulence rivaling that of the bug itself. In fact the 2003-2004
flu season has been remarkable in that it hit earlier than in recent
years and forced government health officials publicly to acknowledge
that the influenza vaccine produced to protect against the virus
doesn't protect against the strain of flu making its way across the
country, leaving the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
to cavil that, after all, the vaccine "may provide some protection or
lessen the symptoms." The operative words being "may" and "some."
Another CDC spokesman has said that "the vaccine doesn't offer
foolproof protection." What "may" and "some" and "foolproof" mean in
this context apparently is as difficult to divine as it is for health
officials accurately to predict the influenza strains circulating from
year to year.
The identification of the virus that is the target of inoculation from
year to year is based on reported influenzalike illnesses throughout
the world that a handful of international and government health
the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, monitor. Periodically
a group of doctors and experts, known as the Vaccines and Related
Biological Products Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug
Administration, meet to discuss the ambient cases. Usually by May of
each year, they vote on the strain of influenza virus from which to
formulate the year's vaccine. Some years the advisory committee picks
the right virus, and sometimes (like this
year) it guesses wrong.
During voting for the 2003-2004 formulation a majority of participants
believed that the influenza A Fujian (H3N2) would be the appropriate
strain. But apparently due to complications with isolating the A Fujian
strain, and additional manufacturing concerns, the committee decided to
stay with the influenza A Panama (H3N2) strain that has been used since
the 2000-2001 flu season.
Attempting to make sense of what "may" and "some" and "foolproof" mean,
Roland A. Levandowski, a doctor with the FDA's Medical Center for
Biologics and a member of the advisory committee, tells Insight that
influenza vaccines - the protective efficacy of vaccine - is never 100
percent. We know from previous experiences with inactivated influenza
vaccines that the best efficacy - the highest level of efficacy - is
between 70 and 90 percent in healthy adults, and this occurs when there
is a perfect match between the vaccine component and the circulating
Levandowski euphemizes, "This year the strain that is in the vaccine is
not a perfect match, but the Fujian strain is represented in this class
of virus [H3N2] and it's not so far off that we wouldn't expect to see
protection. If I had to guess, I'd say there is a 50 percent [chance]
of protection, but even any guess depends on the outcome and what's
happening out there in the real world." So this year the level of
vaccine offers is in doubt.
Indeed, by Jan. 15, the CDC issued a press release admitting that
ongoing testing showed that this year's vaccine "was not effective or
had very low effectiveness" in the test subjects.
Yet up to that time the official edict from federal health agencies had
been to charge ahead and vaccinate anyway. Then, as most now are aware,
there wasn't enough of the "wrong" vaccine to meet the hysteria-induced
demand. So the CDC turned to the recently approved Washington-based
MedImmune's FluMist, an influenza live-virus intranasal spray that is
not approved for use on children younger than 5 or adults older than 49
- two of the at-risk groups for whom vaccination is recommended.
So with the reported shortage of inactive influenza vaccine and a
limited use of the live intranasal spray, large portions of the
population remain unprotected. How serious a problem is that? By Dec.
20, 2003, CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding replied: "I think when you
look at a map that shows wide-spread influenza activity in 36 states
that we can regard it, from a commonsense perspective, as an epidemic."
Although the flu was widespread, according to the CDC the actual number
of flu cases did not surpass the "epidemic" threshold until week 52 of
the flu season.
The CDC Website (www.CDC.gov) offers weekly reports on the number of
influenza cases. For the week ending Dec. 27, 2003, or week 52, the CDC
reported that "since Sept. 28, WHO and NREVSS [National Respirator
Enteric Virus Surveillance System] laboratories have tested a total of
50,743 specimens for influenza viruses and 14,942 were positive with
9.0 percent of all deaths reported by vital-statistics offices of 122
cities due to pneumonia and influenza." The epidemic threshold is 7.9
According to the CDC, influenza is the most frequent cause of death
from a vaccine-preventable disease in this country. From 1990 through
1998, an average of 36,000 flu-related pulmonary and circulatory deaths
occurred each season in the United States.
But how does the CDC arrive at its numbers of deaths related to
influenza? "Tracking the flu is done through sentinel physicians who
test cases for the influenza virus," CDC spokesman Curtis Allen tells
Insight. "But in most
cases a person would go to their physician and the doctor would make a
clinical diagnosis based on the influenza symptoms. The number of
reported deaths [due to complications of the influenza virus] is based
on a mathematical model and not actual swabbing of the nasal cavity."
Allen continues, "The CDC gets the information from the sentinel
physicians, which basically is a random sampling where there are
physicians in a community or health department who will be seeing
patients and will swab their noses. There are a couple problems with
determining the number of deaths related to the flu because most people
don't die from influenza - they die from complications of influenza -
so the numbers are based on mathematical formulas. We don't know
exactly how many people get the flu each year because it's not a
reportable disease and most physicians don't do the test [nasal swab]
to indicate whether it's influenza."
Thus the reported average of 36,000 deaths annually associated with
influenza is based on estimates rather than actual figures. But what
about the growing number of people concerned about the amount of
(thimerosal) in the inactive influenza vaccine?
It turns out that, at the very time government health officials were
warning of the influenza epidemic, they also were putting out unrelated
warnings about the quantities of tuna and other fish that could be
ingested safely in
view of the high levels of mercury in their flesh. The Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) recommends ingesting no more than 0.1
micrograms of mercury, while the FDA recommends no more than 0.4
micrograms per kilogram per day. What this amounts to is a
recommendation by the EPA and the FDA that women and small children eat
no more than 12 ounces of tuna or other fish or shellfish per week.
This is because, according to the EPA, "mercury consumed by a pregnant
or nursing woman or by a young child can harm the developing brain and
Yet the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices has issued a
warning, passed along by the CDC, that "all children aged 6 [months] to
23 months and pregnant women in their second and third trimester"
receive the inactive influenza vaccine - which contains a full 25
micrograms of mercury - 250 times the limit the EPA recommends for
Nevertheless, the CDC Website says, "the benefits of influenza vaccine
with reduced or standard thimerosal content outweighs the theoretical
risk, if any, of thimerosal," which is of course the source of the
mercury. The CDC Website also states: "Based on guidelines established
by the FDA, the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry, no child will receive excessive mercury from childhood
vaccines regardless of whether or not their flu shot contains
thimerosal as a preservative."
Is there a disconnect in communications between federal agencies?
Certainly the EPA and the FDA don't think the risk from exposure of
children to high levels of mercury is "theoretical." Does mercury
injected directly into the bloodstream of a small child stop at the
neck, whereas mercury ingested from a tuna-fish sandwich does not? If
EPA and FDA mercury limits are 0.1 and 0.4 micrograms, how can the CDC
believe the 25 micrograms contained in the influenza vaccine is not
According to Raymond Strikas, a spokesman for the CDC National
Immunization Program, "At this point there is no confirmed proof that
anyone has been harmed by mercury in vaccines. I'm not arguing that
mercury isn't a
neurotoxin - you're right. No one argues that point. It's got to do
with the amount in vaccines - it's very small and has been eliminated
in the vast majority of childhood vaccines. There is thimerosal-free or
reduced-thimerosal influenza vaccine available." Then the "commonsense"
factor cited by CDC Director Gerberding about influenza being at
epidemic levels kicks in to point out that if you ingest mercury and it
causes neurological problems, then it's just common sense that when you
inject it into the bloodstream it will do the same.
Thimerosal is a preservative that has been used in multi-dose vials of
vaccines. It contains 49 percent ethylmercury. The CDC says "there is
no convincing evidence of harm caused by low doses of thimerosal."
However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service and the American
Academy of Pediatrics agreed thimerosal should be eliminated "as a
precautionary measure." And Strikas is correct when he advises that
there is a thimerosal-free influenza vaccine. The problem, critics say,
is that of the 85 million doses produced
for this flu season only 3.2 million were thimerosal-free. Which lucky
kids, they ask, weren't exposed to potential mercury risks?
Len Lavenda is a spokesman for Adventis Pasteur, one of three
pharmaceutical companies producing this season's influenza vaccine. He
tells Insight, "We produce flu vaccines in several different
presentations. We have three of these: a 10-dose vial [multidose],
single-dose prefilled syringes and the pediatric preservative-free
dose. Based on prebooking we determine how many of each will be
produced." Lavenda explains that "for the 2003-2004 season Adventis
produced 43 million doses of the influenza vaccine." The pharmaceutical
spokesman was unsure of how many were free of thimerosal or even of how
many thimerosal-free doses might be produced for the next flu season.
The FluMist intranasal spray is free of thimerosal, remember, but
cannot be given to children younger than 5.
Mark Geier is president of the Genetic Centers of America. He and his
son David Geier, president of Medcon Inc., are consultants on vaccine
issues and longtime opponents of thimerosal in vaccines. Certainly the
Geiers don't accept the concept that mercury somehow is less poisonous
to the human body when injected rather than ingested. They are alarmed
about the presence of mercury in millions of doses of influenza vaccine
being used to fight an epidemic.
"The ethyl mercury in the influenza vaccine," insists Mark Geier,
"assuredly does not stop at the neck. Yes, there is something called
the blood/brain barrier, which prevents some toxins from entering the
brain. But ethyl mercury, which is what is in the influenza vaccine,
crosses that barrier. The influenza vaccine has 25 micrograms of
mercury, which means that to be at the recommended level of safety, and
assuming that you get no mercury from any other source, you'd have to
weigh 550 pounds to be safe."
But, Geier says, "that is only one aspect of this influenza virus that
concerns us. There is a further risk to the health of this country
because the current vaccine doesn't match the current influenza strain.
You understand that they have been wrong about the strain about half
the time and we've been screaming about this for years. Finally, this
year, they even admitted it was the wrong strain. But they say you
should continue to get the vaccine because 'it may give you some
protection.' The truth is it is unlikely to give you a significant
amount of protection because it is the wrong strain."
He continues, "Now let's talk about what can be done. It turns out that
this is not going to be a terribly deadly year and the created panic
has succeeded in selling the vaccine. But there is no joking about
influenza. What if the 1919 strain comes back? Every year we try to
make a vaccine, and let's hope the year it comes back we have a good
one. In its best year the influenza vaccine is probably about 70
percent efficacious, which means we'd still lose tens of millions of
people, so what do we do? The next thing out of their mouths is: 'Well,
if it gets really bad we're going to quarantine states.' Wait. This
isn't 1919, and we have three FDA-approved drugs that prevent
influenza. What happened to them?"
"Tamiflu," Geier says, "is made by Roche [Pharmaceuticals]. Taking one
pill a day prevents up to 90 percent of flu. So explain to me why our
[Department of] Homeland Security has stocked millions of doses of
Cipro in case we're
attacked with anthrax - unlikely on a wide-scale basis - but has not
put away Tamiflu for a major outbreak of influenza that could go
worldwide? Tamiflu ... can be taken within 48 hours of the onset of
and will shorten the case. Two, it is approved for prophylactic use -
taking one pill a day for the flu season - and it will prevent any type
of influenza A or B, no matter what strain, and it is graded in the 90
Geier insists that "it should be put away for both uses and, God forbid
there is a major outbreak, every city should have this stocked.
Homeland Security is supposed to protect us not only from terrorists
but also natural
disasters - and this would be a real natural disaster. Why aren't
public-health officials telling people there is an alternative?
Instead, what we've got is people fighting to get the wrong vaccine,
fully approved by the FDA. What kind of leadership is this?"
"Suppose for a moment," he says, "that there were a 1919 swine-flu
outbreak tomorrow. Do you think they could just pass out Tamiflu to
everyone then? No. That would mean producing tens of millions of doses.
I went to a local
pharmacy to get Tamiflu and asked the pharmacist how many he had on the
shelf. He had just 20 Tamiflu pills - not even enough to fill my
prescription. Look, this is serious. If the 1919 strain should return
tens of millions of Americans could die, but our health officials are
doing nothing, even though the FDA has approved the antivirals for
exactly this use. The vaccine in its wildest dreams never works in the
90 [percent range], so why aren't they actively promoting Tamiflu?"
Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight.
email the author
Sandra McLean and Leanne Edmistone
WHEN Brisbane mother Tracy Bester
found out she was autistic it was a huge relief. Finally, at 19, she
understood why she had been reprimanded as a child for her unsocial
behaviour and clumsiness. At 13 the mounting criticism and her own
confusion led her to attempt suicide. At 16 she left home. At 17 she
had a baby.
The child, Jessica, was the first
of four children Bester has with her husband of 12 years, Pete.
Jessica, 11, also is autistic, as is Bester's fourth child Julian, 5.
Fortunately for both children their autism was diagnosed early.
Early intervention and years of careful coaching by Bester have meant
Jessica leads a normal life, has friends and goes to a mainstream
school. Last year she was awarded an international prize, the Temple
Grandin Award, for achievements in autism. This year the prize stayed
in the Bester family, when mum Tracy was announced the 2004 winner last
month. The award is an indication of how Bester's life-changing work
with her own daughter and the educational programs she developed has
gained national and international recognition. Cause unknown. No
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? A neuro-biological
disorder that significantly affects how the person communicates,
socialises with others, processes information and adapts to their
environment. It covers five different conditions: autism, Asperger's
syndrome, Rett's, pervasive development disorder and childhood
disintegrative disorder. Who does it affect? Estimates vary but most
recent studies place the incidence at one in 500, and it is four times
more prevalent in males. World-wide incidence has risen 17 per cent a
year for the past 10 years. People of all intellectual abilities – from
severely impaired to gifted – can be affected.
What is the cause? A cause has
not been identified and there is no cure. It can be hereditary, and
genetics and environmental factors are thought to contribute. What is
the treatment? Every person with autism is different, therefore
treatment centres on individualised, highly structured therapy and
treatment. This includes speech therapy, occupational therapy,
physiotherapy and communication skills. How is it diagnosed? A
diagnosis is based on the existences of a number of characteristics and
the absence of others, under strict guidelines.
Source: Autism Australia
So much so that over the past
decade Bester has, increasingly, become a saviour to many parents
desperate to understand and help their autistic children. They have
dubbed her autism's own "horse whisperer" because of her innate ability
to understand and work with autistic children. "She was the first
person I had listened to who had truly seemed to understand and know
how autistic children think and function," says Madge Brown, Gold Coast
grandmother to Gavin, 3, who is autistic. "She made sense of the
difficulties the children have and the approach we need to take as
parents and carers." Bester's understanding stems from her own
experience of autism. Her evangelical approach to treating the disorder
is the result of her own childhood in a household that did not
"I can understand what it's like to be autistic,"
she says. "It is almost like two different cultures living together.
People who aren't autistic can't read autistic people. I can. "I grew
up believing I was dumb, stupid, bad, clumsy and all those bad things.
People thought I was rude, obnoxious, badly behaved but were not aware
of what was happening (to me). "This condition is more disabling than
any other physical disability, it impacts on every aspect of life." In
the past two years, demand for Bester's expertise has accelerated as a
result of the alarming rise in autism among children. According to
Bester, the increased rate of children diagnosed with autism is 17 per
cent a year. Experts such as Dr Tony Attwood, who is based on the
Sunshine Coast and has 30 years' experience working with autism, says
over the past 10 years the incidence of children with autistic spectrum
disorders has increased fourfold. The incidence in boys can be four
times higher than in girls.
"Four or five years ago it was one in 1000, now I
would say it could be one in 500. There is better diagnosis, however I
believe there is also a genuine increase just as there has been a
genuine increase in diabetes and asthma." Bester's modest Bray Park
home is the headquarters for Autism Australia, the organisation she has
set up to spearhead her campaign to change the way people work with
autistic children to help them communicate, learn and thrive.
Bester's energy is boundless. As well as her work
with autism she is mum to Jessica, Natalie, 9, Georgina, 7, and Julian.
Husband Peter, a qualified electrician, is always by her side. Bester
often survives on several hours' sleep a day, the little sleep she does
get frequently interrupted by phone calls from desperate parents. Five
years ago Bester was left a paraplegic after an adverse reaction to
a flu vaccine. She has refused to let this disability curb her
single-minded drive. There is little time in her life for self-pity,
although Bester has considered the challenging hand life has dealt her.
"I question every day my life and why I do the work that I do. "It is
so hard being on stage and to be rung at four in the morning by crying
parents and not give them help. Of course, you do."
Bester travels as a motivational speaker and
educator at conferences for parents, teachers and health professionals.
She has had so much success that parents of autistic children have
moved from the US and Ireland to Australia to work closely with Bester.
This year she launched Signature, a state-wide autism awareness
campaign in schools which culminates in a conference at the University
of Queensland as part of Autism Awareness month in May. Her big
ambition is to open the world's first sensory integration centre to
provide training facilities, respite and expert intervention to advance
the skills and talents of people with autism.
"I am desperate to change the perception of
autism," Bester says. "I want people to be able to work effectively
beside people who have autism so that they can understand the cultural
differences." Bester knows full well the impact of autism on family
life as a result of her own experiences as a child and as a mum.
Jessica was diagnosed with autism as a toddler and Bester quit her
studies to focus on her daughter. "When she was five days old she
started screaming and she just didn't stop," Bester says. "When she
wasn't screaming she was ripping things apart. There was no eye
contact, no touching. "She was a really difficult baby. But being my
first and being so young I was sure it was me so I just kept loving her
and working with her." So what did she do with Jessica? "I did
what I do with every kid who comes through my door," she says. "I work
according to their brain pattern – they are right-brain kids and you
can't work with them on an auditory level. Everything I do with them is
Her work with Jessica led Bester to develop the
Jesse.ka learning curve series of developmental programs for families
to implement themselves. Ironically Bester, who is dyslexic and can't
read facial expressions or body language, still can't fully understand
how she can function so effectively as a communicator. "How come any
other kid who is brought to me who has parents who were not capable of
working with them are worse than me," she says. "I talked about this to
a colleague and asked him: 'Why on earth am I like I am?'. My colleague
said: 'Just put it down to strength of character."
More health reports in Life, with your Saturday
© Queensland Newspapers
Colorado Springs Gazette
June 23, 2004
Carson Soldier Gave Illness A Tough Fight
By Tom Roeder, The Gazette
It may have been the confidence that Cpl. Adam White always exuded.
Even when he was in a hospital bed, unable to speak or move for half a
year, his wife and family never thought White would lose his battle
with encephalitis, a disease the Fort Carson soldier contracted in
Iraq. But that hope turned to tears Saturday when the 24-year-old died.
"He was just a lovely person," said his wife, Dorit, of Colorado
Doctors still don't know why White got sick and still can't explain why
he never got better. Theories range from insect-carried diseases to an
adverse reaction to a flu shot.
He's the 46th Fort Carson soldier whose death is attributed to service
White planned a surprise Christmas visit home to see his bride. But
Dec. 7, after eight months in Iraq, he awoke unable to control the left
side of his body.
Doctors found swelling in White's brain. The soldier came home from
Flu vaccine is worthless and damaging!
It is impossible to prevent disease by artificial means.
by Vivian Virginia Vetrano, D.C. hM.D.,M.D.,PH.D.
Does the influenza virus vaccine really protect us from the flu? Hygienic
doctors proclaim “DEFINITELY NOT.”
Physicians hypothesize: “Yes, Maybe and No! It depends.” Yet, they still
recommend that persons of selected groups take the newly concocted flu vaccine.
Those targeted for the vaccine range from babies six months or older; to persons
age 65 or older; special groups, such as those with chronic disorders of the
pulmonary or cardiovascular systems, and others too numerous to mention.
Actually, the list takes in practically everybody.
The Hygienic theory of the development of influenza is the antithesis of medical
orthodoxy. Physicians believe the disease is due to various and numerous
bacteria or viruses. Hygienists realize that the development of any disease is
dependent on the lifestyle of the individual. Hygienists live in such a clean
manner that their bodies retain no excess toxins and their Defense Mechanisms
are in perfect condition!
It is impossible to prevent disease by artificial means. You are a living
creature and your body will develop disease when the physical, mental and
environmental conditions are so unsatisfactory they force the body to initiate
an acute elimination crisis, such as influenza--which, if cared for properly, is
not the dreaded disease as pictured by the purveyors of vaccinations. Vaccines
add to the toxicity of the body and hence, cause disease. You can't make a
healthy person a sick one unless you overwhelm him with poisons. And vaccines
Former flu virus vaccines, using “live” viruses, produced too many serious,
adverse reactions, so a new one had to be concocted. The latest 2002-2003
formula for flu vaccines is called the “subvirion.” This is a mutilated virus
“blended, spliced and macerated” until nothing but bits and pieces of the virus
are left. However, splitting the virus makes it no less harmful. The toxic
antigens, usually protein or carbohydrate in nature, are still present and are
still poisonous. If they were not poisonous they would not cause the body to
produce antibodies in self-defense. Medically speaking, this is why they are
thought to produce immunity. Physicians are trying to cause a mild disease based
on the ancient idea that if you suffer the disease once you won’t get it again.
We very well know that flu, colds, pneumonia and other acute diseases can
develop in the same individuals multiple times. Although the split virus is
purported to be less toxic than former flu vaccines, after scrutinizing and
analyzing its components and their chemical attributes, I have serious doubts.
Should We Be Vaccinated?
Is the 2002-2003 influenza virus vaccine helpful or detrimental? Will it protect
us or will it cause a great ruckus in the body? Studying the effects of the
components of the influenza virus vaccine is not as enjoyable as drinking a
delicious mango-banana smoothie, but it will help answer your questions. In
fact, learning the contents of this new vaccine may make you want to either
retch or shout: “No thank you!”
The flu vaccine contains a variety of other substances besides the molecules of
the subvirion that wreck havoc with your health. I am sorry to have to tell you
that it is grown in an embryonic chicken or in the allantoic fluids that
surround it in the egg. All flu vaccines are manufactured a little differently,
and contain slightly different components, but they all contain hemagglutinin
antigens that can cause clumping of the red blood cells. If this happens in the
bloodstream, it will cause an even greater blockage of circulation than an
accident on a busy freeway. The hemagglutinin antigens coupled with the body's
antibodies against them can block arteries, killing cells by the thousands. The
cells in vital organs will be starved for air, food and water, just as they are
in serious cardiovascular diseases. In short, this could easily lead you to
premature death and a beautiful but gloomy casket.
It may be difficult to understand how this little 0.5 milliliter dose could be
so devastating, but this will become clearer as we explore the disruptive
effects of each component of the vaccine on your body. The 2002-2003 influenza
vaccine contains 15 ug hemagglutinin antigens of different viruses thought to
cause influenza, such as New Caldonia, Panama, Moscow, and Hong Kong. In
addition to the “jet-set” hemagglutinins, the vaccine also contains the enzyme
neuraminidase. The hemagglutinins are the factors that are supposed to engender
antibodies to render you immune to influenza. Both hemagglutinins and
neuraminidases are on the surface of the virus and end up as toxic molecules in
the split virus, the subvirion.
Neuraminidase is an enzyme that catalyzes chemical reactions of N
acetylneuraminic acid and other neuraminic acids, which are members of a group
of substances classed as sialic acids. Neuraminic acid is one of the major
species of sugars found in humans and it is a component of practically all the
glycoproteins. N-acetylneuraminic acid and other neuraminic acids are the
predominate sugars in glycoproteins. Glycoproteins consist of a spine of protein
with carbon chains of oligosaccharides jutting off its sides like centipede
legs. The enzyme neuraminidase, found in the flu vaccine is very damaging. It
can cut out neuraminic acid from any or all of the glycoproteins in the cell
membrane just like a good cutting horse cuts out the exact calf wanted by his
master. Cutting out one calf weakens the herd. Cutting out neuraminic acid from
the cell membrane weakens the cell membrane.
Glycoproteins: Our Lives Depend on Them
Glycoproteins are complex carbohydrates that are practically omnipresent and
needed everywhere for very crucial functions. All the plasma proteins are
glycoproteins, except for albumin. Glycoproteins are in all cell membranes; in
bone and cartilage, in the brain, etc. If they are disrupted or destroyed by
vaccines containing neuraminidase, untold detrimental effects occur throughout
the entire body! Like a Jack Of All Trades, glycoproteins perform many VIP
functions. Similar to private limousines that transport VIP people to special
places, glycoproteins transport VIP substances such as vitamins, lipids,
minerals and trace elements throughout the body. Additionally, glycoproteins are
produced by cells when exposed to viruses, bacteria, and experimental chemicals.
They actually become antiviral substances themselves, and are called
“interferons” because they interfere with viral multiplication.
To damage glycoproteins in any manner can be compared to the demolition of a
huge building by pulling out several of the basic parts of its foundation. The
whole body falls apart, as does the building. That is what neuramidases can do
to you when you allow them to be injected in the form of "immunizations."
Actually, rather than immunizing you, they do just the opposite; they give you
false hopes of protection and then slash away at you with enzymic knives.
The liver recognizes and destroys all glycoproteins that are missing their
sialic acids, inactivating the glycoproteins.
The pharmaceutical companies say that neuraminidase aids the virus to leave the
cell, but this is at the expense of cellular life itself. The cell has that lost
its glycoproteins is now functionally crippled, because its glycoproteins are
damaged. If one pile of a bridge is damaged, this leads to a weakening of the
whole bridge, which becomes a hazard to those crossing it; just as our cell
membranes are a hazard to us when their glycoproteins are functionally damaged.
Medical Theory of Vaccination is Flawed
Medical theory holds that increased levels of antibodies against specific
antigens by vaccination will prevent the development of a particular disease,
such as influenza. On the other hand, Hygienists hold that our susceptibility to
disease increases with the number of vaccinations. This includes the dreaded
demon disease, cancer.
Red blood cells and all cells have antigenic properties because all have both
protein and carbohydrates in the cell wall, as we have just learned. Research
has demonstrated that N-neuraminidase causes red blood cells to lose their
antigenicity. It follows then that the virus hemagglutinins in the vaccine also
lose their antigenicity because of N-neuraminidase, and consequently those who
are vaccinated cannot form antibodies against the hemagglutinins! If antibodies
can’t be formed then according to medicine, the vaccine is useless, because it
is the antibodies that, in medical thought, create immunity to influenza. If the
pharmaceutical companies think they are producing immunity with this vaccine
they had better rethink their hypothesis. The small oligosaccharides in
glycoproteins of mammalian tissues are formed with just a few monosaccharides
and neuraminic acid is the predominate one. Furthermore, neuraminidases also
split off other sugars from glycoproteins, producing as much damage as cutting
off neuraminic acid. These oligosaccharides are found in the glycoproteins of
all cell membranes. So the vaccine is worthless as well as very damaging to all
the tissues in the body.
The Growing and Preparation of Influenza Virus Vaccine
The allantoic fluids in which the flu vaccine is grown, contain a white
crystalline substance called allantoin. As an animal waste product, it is not
usable and hence it is toxic. Allantoin has a high nitrogen content, which is
why it is used as fertilizer. Allantoin is broken down to dirueidoacetic acid.
Diureidoacetic acid can be further broken down to another product that is partly
responsible for the development of kidney and bladder stones.
Five hundred micrograms of gentamicin, a broad spectrum antibiotic, is added to
each embryonated chicken egg to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Formaldehyde,
which is often used as a preservative, and thought to be carcinogenic in humans,
is used to inactivate the virus.
Two chemicals, tri butylphosphate and Polysorbate 80, USP are added to the
subvirion to inactivate and disrupt a significant proportion of the virus. Then,
resin is added to eliminate “substantial portions” of these two chemicals, tri
butylphosphate and Polysorbate 80. You can be certain that some of these
chemicals are still components of the vaccine when injected. Still, more
purification is required because of the presence of undisclosed other
“undesirable materials” in the vaccine.
So, at this point, we see that the vaccine contains: Allantoin and its breakdown
products; various egg proteins; gentamicin, an antibiotic; formaldehyde; resin,
and tri butylphosphate, as well as polysorbate 80, which is used as an excipient
in formulating tablets. In other words, polysorbate 80 is the vehicle or carrier
for most drugs, and it is also found in ice creams and other fabricated fake
foods. To preserve this witches' brew, thimerosal, a mercury derivative, is
used. Therefore, each 0.5 milliliter dose influenza vaccine contains 25
micrograms of mercury. Do you want all that in your body?
Some companies use polyethylene glycol and Isooctylphenyl for various reasons
when producing the subvirion. Such chemicals cannot produce health. Polyethylene
Glycol is a relative of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) which is often used to
poison dogs and other predators of sheep. The body has a very difficult time
expelling it because it is resistant to biodegradation. Isocctylphenyl ether is
a compound of ether and has anesthetic properties. Isooctylphenyl ether is a
teratogen, causing abnormal prenatal development. It also induces testicular
atrophy in animals, and possibly in people.
I wish to caution you that animal reproductive studies have not been conducted
with influenza virus vaccine. It is also not known whether influenza virus
vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if it
might affect reproductive capacity.
Vaccines Guarantee Nothing
Please be aware that the vaccinating profession does not proclaim complete
immunity for you, but states that it merely "reduces the likelihood of
infection; or if you do develop the disease it will be a milder case.” Listen to
another confession: “It is known definitely that influenza virus vaccine, as now
constituted, is not effective against all possible strains of influenza virus.
Any protection afforded is only against those strains of virus from which the
vaccine is prepared or against closely related strains.” Our body’s defense
mechanisms do better than that! It has natural killer cells that attack all
strains of viruses and bacteria.
The 2002-2003 vaccine is not “effective” against any other strain of influenza
virus or some that are closely related. You are not protected even if you are
vaccinated! So many different viruses and bacteria supposedly cause influenza
that it is a wonder people don’t see that there is something wrong here! How can
one be artificially immune to any disease when hundreds of different viruses and
bacteria “cause” the same disease? How can we even believe that they cause
disease in any case, since they are always present in health and disease? Most
of the time they are our benefactors–they actually help us rid the body of
Vaccines Build Disease!
Perhaps you have been assured by your physician that Influenza virus vaccine
contains only dead viruses and that it cannot cause influenza. This is nonsense.
Influenza vaccine contains the proteins found in the RNA of the virus. These
proteins, like egg or chicken protein, are alien to our bodies. Our bodies can
only use the proteins and carbohydrates we make ourselves. All others are toxic
and must be degraded and tossed out. Therefore, when you take vaccines, the
foreign proteins and carbohydrates increase the toxicity of your body
sufficiently to warrant an elimination crisis. Not only could you get influenza
but you could get any other disease to which you have a physical tendency. This
is why physicians state that “...coincidental respiratory disease unrelated to
influenza vaccination can occur after vaccination.” Excuses, excuses...
The most frequent “side effect” of vaccination is soreness at the site of the
vaccination site for up to two days. Does that sound like something that is good
for you? Your body tissues become red, swollen and inflamed because of the toxic
vaccine. Other injection site reactions are: pain or tenderness, erythema,
inflammation, skin discoloration, induration, a mass or lump; and
hypersensitivity reactions including puritus and urticaria. In addition, the
following types of systemic problems have occurred after vaccination: Fever,
malaise, myalgia, and other systemic symptoms such as arthralgia, asthenia,
chills, dizziness, headache, lymphadenopathy, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
pharyngitis, angiopathy and vasculiltis, as well as anaphylactic shock. Many
asthmatics have severe reactions from taking flu virus vaccines and anaphylaxis
is one of them, sometimes ending in death within one hour.
The human body learns to tolerate poisons if given to them often enough and long
enough. But the price is dear, because changes in tissues are taking place that
are detrimental to your health, ending up in one or more degenerative diseases.
The only way out is to live healthfully so you do not tolerate toxins!
Getting vaccinated builds disease–not immunity! All vaccines are poisons and
every new vaccine is a new poison!
Why We Get the Flu
Sickness already exists before the virus or bacteria can propagate in large
numbers. The body’s toxic tissues are the basic cause of the disease; not the
bacteria. When your body finds itself overflowing with excess waste, like a
stopped up toilet, it flows over too, with mucus exuding from one or many body
parts. You may find yourself leaking from the nose, or throat, or lungs, or eyes
and ears, and sometimes all of these at once; or the inflammation may march
along like a band going from one block to the next, until the toxic level has
come down to the toleration point of the individual. You are apparently well,
and you are indeed free of symptoms because the body ceases its eliminations
upon reaching your particular toleration point. However, you are not really
healthy until your body tolerates only the normal amount of wastes, as in a
genuinely healthy individual. It takes time and right living to get to that
point. Fasting hastens this process.
An acute disease, such as influenza, is a necessary pathophysiological process
instituted by the body itself, designed to eliminate the excess body wastes by
way of the mucous membranes. The bodily intelligence decides which area is the
most appropriate and best avenue to rid itself of certain waste products, and
when these are so overwhelming that the ordinary avenues of elimination such as
the kidneys can't handle them all, they are then pushed out through other
channels such as the skin and mucous membranes. When cared for Hygienically,
influenza never becomes a deadly disease.
The point is that the body is self-protecting and self-healing. If we all gave
up the idea of "cures" and lived correctly, there would be no need for
medications to suppress our symptoms or vaccines to give us a false idea that we
Neither healthy nor sick persons need to be vaccinated. The healthy person
should continue on with a healthful lifestyle, and the sick individual should
find out what in his or her lifestyle is causing the sickness, eliminate it; and
then work towards a more healthful lifestyle. If you desire to keep well it
certainly helps to know what can make you sick and avoid it.
Medical treatments of all kinds can predispose you to influenza. In short,
anything that enervates, or saps energy, can exacerbate any tendencies we may
have toward disease. All “enervators,” i.e., those things which rob you of nerve
energy and weaken you physically and mentally, will predispose you to an acute
disease. Some of the greatest enervators are all drugs, medications, and poison
habits such as indulging in coffee, tea, alcohol, and smoking. All bad health
habits are enervating, but the greatest enervators of all are pharmaceuticals,
It is difficult for individuals to see all this clearly, because for 24 hours a
day they are under the barrage of medical propaganda and coercion. They fear for
their lives and know nothing about the healing powers of the living organism.
The ill-fated individual does not know what to think or do, being lost in the
hazy woods of the mysticism of medicine. What we need in this world is truth and
enlightenment! To quote Dr. Herbert M. Shelton’s favorite slogan: “Let us have
the truth though the heavens may fall."
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